The idea that you will reduce costs during an Azure migration is not a given. In fact, when an organization is new to the cloud is when they are prone to missing details or falling in step with habits from their on-prem days. Unfortunately, up to $26.6 billion will be wasted this year due to idle and overprovisioned cloud resources. All of that could be prevented. 

When the team at Providence Health took on a migration to Microsoft Azure in early 2020, they planned ahead for these challenges – and built cost optimization into their migration plans, so they could land with an optimized infrastructure and truly take advantage of the elasticity of public cloud. 

Here’s how they did it. 

First, Overcome the Cultural Challenges of Azure Migration

Migration can be scary for users who have never used the public cloud before. Often, those who are less familiar with public clouds have misconceptions about security, reliability, or cost. When Bryan de Boer joined the Providence Health team as an Executive Director of IT in 2020, their Microsoft Azure migration project was just beginning. Bryan recalled,  “The very ideas of cloud elasticity, flexibility, and optimization were completely foreign to this enterprise… Servers were fixed resources that you bought; they were physical resources that just sat there, and it was a one-time upfront purchase. There was a conceptual paradigm shift that needed to occur.”

Luckily, by getting in front of these misconceptions with education, you can address them and get your teams on board and even excited for the move to the public cloud. Bryan told us the process of educating key stakeholders was fun, and this is not to be ignored – by treating your colleagues kindly and with good humor, you can build the rapport and shared-dream teamwork that makes digital transformation possible throughout the organization.

Read more about how this process worked for Providence Health in the full Providence Health Case Study

Continuous Optimization for Continuous Savings

Optimization is not a one-time activity. In fact, we estimate cloud resource drift of about 10-15% month over month, which could mean a complete environment turnover in less than one year. Thus, continuous optimization is key. One straightforward way to bake this optimization into your processes is by setting on/off schedules on non-production resources, such as development, testing, staging, and QA, so that you’re only paying for on-demand resources when you need them. This is also a great way to give some ownership over cloud resources and costs to the end-users within your organization, to make the transition from an overprovisioning-happy on-premises model to the on-demand consumption charging model of the public cloud. 

Speed to Vaccination Supported by Cloud Adoption

Once you internalize the concepts of cloud elasticity, you can start to grow and innovate faster than ever before. For the Providence Health team, this took the trailblazing form of building a new COVID-19 vaccination tracking and scheduling application that they were able to launch in a matter of days – a process that would have taken months pre-migration. With this rapid test case, the Admin Tech application team proved that they could solve significant problems in a very short period with the agility of the cloud. This became a key proof point in driving the internal cultural change to show the value of cloud infrastructure.

Join Us Live for More

Want to hear Providence’s story, live? Want to see how they were able to launch that vaccine tracking application so quickly? Join us.

Bryan de Boer will be speaking at our upcoming Apps ON Cloud Summit, happening online May 11th through 13th. Learn from customers like Providence alongside the industry’s best, like Kelsey Hightower and prince of snark Corey Quinn. Plus, we’re doing a giveaway for a two-night getaway to one lucky attendee – details on the registration page. Hope to see you there!

About Katy Stalcup

Katy Stalcup is the Director of Marketing for Cloud Solutions at Turbonomic, which includes both Turbonomic's Application Resource Management product and ParkMyCloud. Since ParkMyCloud's founding, she's evangelized its message of simple cost savings and automation (seriously, in the words of one of our customers, "There is literally no reason not to use ParkMyCloud").