Blog   |   Managed Services   |   March 25, 2022

7 Ways Automated Cloud Management Can Optimize Your MSP Business

It takes more than offering great cloud managed services to run a successful business. The everyday cloud operations of a managed service provider (MSP) can impact the ability to grow margins and remain competitive in the marketplace.

With the dynamic nature of public cloud, you need to optimize resources in a way that is efficient to your business operations. Maintenance and management of public cloud environments can be completed with manual review, but this is incredibly time-consuming. It’s also impossible to catch everything, therefore, manual tasks may also subject your cloud operations to human error. These lead to inefficient and costly mistakes — for you and for your customers.

A cloud management platform can help you automate cloud services to create simple, standardized processes and increase your profit margins at scale. Below are seven key benefits of automated cloud management and how it can help you deliver the same level of excellence to every customer, every time.

 

What are the benefits of automated cloud management?

Automation improves operational efficiency by taking action on key tasks in your cloud infrastructure. With a cloud management platform like CloudCheckr, you can find ways to reduce cloud costs, streamline operations, avoid costly mistakes, and bring new services to market.

Automation in a cloud management platform can help you to:

 

1. Lower your cloud costs

Automation is a vital component in finding opportunities to reduce cloud spend — for you and your customers. For example, by automating Reserved Instance (RI) purchasing or terminating idle resources, you can eliminate unnecessary spending and waste. Automated cost optimization tools can help you restore, resize, and terminate resources to better match capacity needs and ensure proper usage.

 

2. Streamline billing

For many MSPs, billing can be a time-consuming process. A cloud management platform designed for MSPs can give you billing tools to make allocating costs to your customers much simpler than manual accounting methods. Additionally, you can take advantage of volume discounts without absorbing the costs. 

 

3. Avoid significant cloud sprawl

Without physical servers in place, it’s easy for customers to lose track of how something intangible like cloud infrastructure can grow, what they’ve provisioned, and how much they’re spending. Automation limits cloud sprawl by monitoring resource costs, and tools like Heat Maps can suggest when to reduce them.

 

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4. Minimize human error

The more complex a cloud environment, the more likely you are to make a mistake. Unfortunately, those mistakes could end up costing your customers a lot, and they take more time out of the day to resolve. Cloud automation minimizes opportunities for human error and ensures that can follow cloud governance best practices. Additionally, automating critical tasks like reports and alerts makes it easier to understand what’s going on in your customers’ cloud environments at all times.

 

5. Reduce time spent on manual tasks

If you need to pull information about a given cloud environment, gathering data from disparate sources takes time. Cloud management solutions can aggregate all of the information in one place, making it easier to analyze spending, resource, and security data all at once.

With automation, you can schedule and automate traditionally manual tasks. For example, if a customer needs to scale down their resources outside of normal business hours, a cloud management platform can help you manage these processes more easily.

JHC Technology, an Effectual Company, uses CloudCheckr to give their customers an easier way to manage resources. “One customer was spending a significant amount of time writing Lambda scripts to manage snapshots,” said Senior Cloud Engineer Mike Atkinson. “The automation CloudCheckr provided around cleaning up security groups and snapshots reduced overhead, while allowing them to focus more on their actual environment and applications.”

 

6. Automate DevOps services

Actively monitoring for cost savings can help DevOps teams save on cloud costs as their business needs change. CloudCheckr helped Eplexity’s Center of Excellence, their managed services team, find these cost savings opportunities for their customers with the platform’s automated services.

Chris Egloff, Resident Architect at Eplexity, explains: “We have baked in a number of automations to deliver CloudCheckr as part of our DevOps services to clients. These include the automated provisioning of customer CloudCheckr accounts, Well-Architected Best Practice scanning, and automated tagging for billing and budgeting at the application, cost center, and account levels.”

 

7. Deliver more value for less cost

Finally, bringing more value-add services to customers is what keeps them coming back. Automating and streamlining your cloud managed services is a key component for MSPs that want to differentiate their businesses.

This was a key benefit of using CloudCheckr for PTP, which specializes in cloud services for life sciences and biotech industries. Their client Voyager Therapeutics needed to simplify cloud operations so that they could focus on researching life-changing therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

“We’re seeing continued improvement with functionality and the ability for our DevOps team to leverage the CloudCheckr API,” said Gary Derheim, Vice President of Managed Services at PTP. “We can connect it to our portal and begin to automate some of the work that we’re doing, which means that for a lower cost I can deliver more value back to customers like Voyager. That’s a win for us and I think a win for the customer.”

 

How can CloudCheckr help you automate and optimize your cloud business?

MSPs leverage the automated cloud management in CloudCheckr to expand and differentiate their services and better serve their customers through improved cloud ROI. CloudCheckr helps them to streamline delivery, and more importantly, maximize profits through more sophisticated cloud purchasing and billing for customers.

 

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