Achieving Cloud Cost Optimization Through Strategy and Governance

Achieving Cloud Cost Optimization Through Strategy and Governance

By watservadmin
April 28, 2020

Cloud cost optimization is a popular and at times controversial topic of discussion. Part of the reason for this is because optimization is often understood as merely a way to bring costs down and meet business KPIs. However, this type of framing oversimplifies the conversation by situating cloud optimization as a tactical conversation, rather than a strategic one.

At WatServ, our cloud optimization methodology is an ongoing, iterative process that incorporates efficiencies from both strategic cloud planning and operational-level cost management tools and tactics. It also recognizes governance as an important component that affects outcomes – ensuring policies and processes are proactively defined to govern and implement cost improvements. In fact, we have found that cloud cost optimization is most successful when the process goes beyond simply reducing costs, and includes a look at ownership, collaboration, innovation and accountability from both the partner and client perspectives, in order to drive efficiencies.

With deep experience in guiding cost management strategies, WatServ has developed innovative practices that can be used to address a wide range of cost challenges. Below is a sample, with common cost management challenges on the left and examples of our mitigation approaches on the right.

Common Challenges and WatServ’s Demonstrated Mitigation Strategies

We commonly hear:

What we might suggest…

How do I stay on top of right-sizing my existing infrastructure?

Establish accountability for a data-driven approach 

Create accountability in your organization for assessing performance monitoring and server management data. Empower staff on your team with the right skills to leverage WatServ’s cloud management tools and reporting to drive actions on cost containment such as resource scaling and resource re-allocation.

I am trying to keep on top of day to day dollars, but how can I effectively bring our annual projection of infrastructure costs down?

Align on long-term goals for your cloud platform and create an imperative for change 

Establish a clear perspective on where the organization is heading with respect to its cloud strategy. Ensure that there has has been a thorough assessment of operations and applications and align leadership on the end-state goal. We recommend working with your advisors to develop a long-term roadmap that identifies clear, compelling cost improvements.

How can I mobilize our organization and resources to make impactful cost improvements?

Create a sustainable cost management process 

Delivering cost improvements with lasting impact requires the wider organizational ecosystem to reinforce the change. Establish effective governance processes to ensure cost recommendations are being implemented, and create a proactive set of parameters and policies to manage consumption, limit costs and provide transparency.

Need assistance optimizing your cloud? WatServ’s team is here to help. Speak with one of our cloud engineers to explore your options. Reach out today.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with 1000’s of users connecting from around the world, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

8 Ways to Help Protect Your Business from Cybercrime During COVID-19

8 Ways to Help Protect Your Business from Cybercrime During COVID-19

By Otto Aulicino, Director, Information Security
April 22, 2020

As aptly stated by Interpol:

Cyberthreats are constantly evolving in order to take advantage of online behaviour and trends. The COVID-19 outbreak is no different. Cybercriminals are attacking the computer networks and systems of individuals, businesses and even global organizations at a time when cyber defences might be lowered due to the shift of focus to the health crisis.

That means that as your business is settling into its new normal of working from home and stabilizing operations, cybercriminals are looking for novel ways to exploit emerging vulnerabilities – whether that’s using malware, ransomware, spyware, malicious domains, phishing attempts or other ways.

In fact, globally, we’ve already seen many successful cybercrime attempts in the past few weeks, including the malicious COVID-19 tracker app that uses surveillanceware to gain access to Android phone data and SMS messages, record audio, operate the camera, change settings and more.

Although no one is safe from cyberthreats, there are some immediate actions you can take to mitigate your risks of being the next victim.

To help, we’ve put together a checklist that businesses can use to review their online safety policies.

COVID-19 CYBER SAFETY CHECKLIST

1. Be on the lookout for phishing emails with links or attachments 

Be on the lookout for phishing emails with links or attachments designed to entice you to click on links or open attachments about the latest and greatest offer related to coronavirus protections, or with urgent instructions from people like your “boss”. The intent is to get you to unwittingly download malware onto your device and the company’s systems. If you receive an email that feels off, it probably is. Do not open attachments, click on the links and never provide your passwords. Instead, alert your IT security team.

2. Watch out for ransomware attacks 

Watch out for ransomware attacks. Phishing attacks often lead to ransomware, meaning that if you open the attachment or click the link it may encrypt your files and demand you pay a large ransom in exchange for the decryption key. Again, if you receive an email you weren’t expecting with links or attachments that seem odd to you, don’t open it.

3. Make sure your devices are up to date, as well as your anti-virus protection 

Make sure your devices are up to date, as well as your anti-virus protection. By not maintaining your device with the latest updates or security fixes, you could be exposing yourself to vulnerabilities. Additionally, your anti-virus software may not have the latest signature files to protect against more recent attacks. Either manually update or set your anti-virus software to auto-update.

4. Don’t use work devices for personal activities 

Don’t use work devices for personal activities. BitTorrent, downloads of games and other apps may include or lead to the download of malware as a “trojan horse”, which can put the network at risk. To be safe, don’t install any apps or software for personal use on corporate devices, and avoid browsing websites with unknown reputations.

5. Use multi-factor authentication whenever it is available 

Use multi-factor authentication whenever it is available. Multi-factor authentication combines something you “know” (such as a password or pin) with something you “have” (such as a code sent over SMS or a bank card). This makes it more difficult for attackers, should they learn your password, to gain access to your systems and applications.

6. Avoid the temptation of using Bluetooth in a public place

Avoid the temptation of using Bluetooth in a public place. That’s because Bluetooth is an easy way for hackers to connect to your device or access it for data or identity theft.

7. Only work on secure, password-protected internet connections

Only work on secure, password-protected internet connections. If you have to use public WiFi, verify with the owner that the network is legitimate and only connect if it’s secured through a password and encryption (WEP or WPA). Even still, avoid accessing any confidential or sensitive information from a public WiFi network.

8. If your device is lost or stolen, report it immediately

If your device is lost or stolen, report it immediately. Quickly reporting a device that’s been lost or stolen will minimize the risk of fraud.

Cybercrime isn’t going away. In fact, if anything, it’s only increasing during a crisis like COVID-19.

The best way to be prepared it to know the facts, put safeguards in place and assume you’re being targeted by cyberthreats on a daily basis.

Still have questions? Our cloud security experts are happy to help. Reach out today.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.