In the face of tough conditions, it’s tempting to simply cut costs. But long-term success depends instead on allocating budgets in the best way and identifying the right projects to prioritise.
To make those decisions, you need to address multiple challenges:
- Unpredictable business conditions, which demand systems that are agile, scalable and let you get to market faster.
- New business models, such as remote working or a significant increase in online sales and online service delivery, which require you to find resources for projects that weren’t in your original budget
- Limited visibility and control of your current IT spend, which calls for a more detailed view of the costs of each service, along with intelligent, automated solutions that allow you to implement robust governance to reduce the risk of overspends.
Google Cloud helps you solve these challenges in 5 different ways:
- Infrastructure Modernisation. We’ve written previously about how infrastructure modernisation can help you reduce costs and improve scalability and agility. A Lift and Shift strategy lets you move a VMWare environment from a data centre to run natively on Google Cloud and will typically reduce your TCO by a least 25%. You’ll benefit from the economies of scale provided by Google Cloud, eliminate the upfront time and cost of hardware refreshes and improve reliability and availability, while simplifying your disaster recovery plans. But there’s no need to re-architect your apps or retrain your staff.
Google Cloud also has options to Lift and Shift some specific common line-of-business systems, such as SAP, so you can stop worrying about infrastructure issues like performance and availability and focus your energies on moving forwards with digital transformation and innovation projects that exploit more of the application’s capabilities.
Finally, if you’re looking to become more agile as well as save costs, then your infrastructure modernisation strategy should be to use containerisation to Lift and Modernise. Google’s Anthros, an entirely software-based containerisation solution, lets you migrate any application, running on any technology stack, completely unmodified. Once you’ve containerised your existing applications, you’ll then be able to develop, operate and maintain them much more efficiently.
- Specialised infrastructure migration. Standard cloud migration tools won’t help if you run specialised workloads or use older technologies, but you may still be able to use Google Cloud to create a more cost-effective, agile and scalable infrastructure. For example, Google Cloud offers “bare metal” solutions that let you migrate applications with extremely demanding CPU and I/O requirements that were never designed to run in the cloud or on VMs.
You can also simplify a long-term strategy of migrating away from Microsoft Windows with Google’s Migrate for Compute service. It lets you move to on-demand licensing when your current licences expire and allows you to take advantage of managed services for products like SQL Server and Active Directory that will cut your TCO.
You can even tackle migrating your mainframe systems to the cloud — with minimal risk and high business continuity — thanks to solutions from Google that will help you break mainframe code down programmatically so it can be offloaded to the cloud, as well as convert legacy languages and databases into cloud-native services.
- Big Data and Analytics. Google Cloud makes it quick, easy and cost effective to create scalable, powerful analytics solutions that help your business make smarter, more informed decisions. You can address the limitations of legacy data warehouses — which weren’t designed to handle today’s high data volumes or streaming data, and which can’t scale quickly or efficiently — with BigQuery. It will let you move your on-premise legacy data warehouse to the cloud or create a new cloud data warehouse that draws on data from siloed systems, whether running on premise or in the cloud.
- Artificial Intelligence. AI is embedded throughout Google Cloud services, from helping Google to run its data centres more efficiently to helping you work more productively in G Suite with features like Smart Reply in GMail and Explore in Sheets. But you can also use Google Cloud solutions to easily apply AI to your own business processes, especially in the areas of customer support and marketing. For example, chatbots help customers get answers more quickly while reducing the pressure on your contact centre. Using AI to automatically prioritise and route customer emails allowed online grocer Ocado to answer urgent emails three times as quickly. And online retailers are using automated personal shopping assistants that learn about users’ preferences — expressed in natural language — in order to provide recommendations and help them find the right products more quickly.
You can also get more out of your data with smart analytics from Google that can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively. This includes: visualisation tools that help users make more sense of data more quickly; location-based and spatial analytics that can reveal previously hidden patterns and relationships; and artificial intelligence tools that can extract insights from unstructured data or generate recommendations for customers.
- Business Transformation. With tools to build custom apps and quickly and easily exploit new technologies, Google Cloud is a great platform for business innovation. But it can also make a difference to the operational efficiency of your whole organisation, by helping teams to collaborate seamlessly and work remotely. Implementing G Suite, a complete cloud-based productivity solution that includes video meetings, group chat and document collaboration can make a big difference. At the London Borough of Hackney, for instance, G Suite is helping to improve front-line services on a tight IT budget, while it has allowed iconic footwear brand Dr. Martens to handle 10x growth with limited IT resources.
To find out more about the ways Google Cloud solves for operational efficiency, download the Google Cloud white paper or come and talk to the experts in our GCP team.