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Top tips for Microsoft Azure Optimization


Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing Services: a simple guide to optimization

Cloud computing continues to grow exponentially, accelerating the digital transformation of organizations all over the world. Whilst the benefits are obvious – providing the flexibility and scalability that organizations need – there are also several challenges to consider. Simply figuring out which cloud services are needed is already a sticking point, and predicting future requirements can be an even more daunting task.

In order to ensure a fully optimized Azure cloud estate, organizations will need to manage their cloud computing services carefully – balancing requirements with spend commitments, and risk with commercial leverage. Though this can be a time-consuming process, the long-term benefits will be worth it. We’ve pulled together some common issues and top tips to overcome them in this article and also on our Azure Optimization Infographic.

Common Azure challenges

Poorly-managed cloud investments can impact an organization’s financial security across the business. So, a natural starting point is to consider and plan for costs. Organizations will need to predict costs in Azure accurately, based on their current operations and migration projects, and then ensure costs are optimized and aligned to company forecasts and contractual commitments. It’s also worth ensuring that contracts deliver optimal discounts and commercial value. Once organizations have achieved this, the biggest challenge will be to constantly monitor and manage the ever-changing services and consumption metrics aligned to growing demand and innovation.

There are many challenges that can arise simply out of poor planning and management. For example, an organization’s cloud consumption may grow uncontrollably, but if there is no flexibility in their contract then there will be no opportunity to reduce, optimize and manage investment effectively.

Another common issue is that projects far exceed spending forecasts and estimates, resulting in further financial pressure and, by extension, operational business challenges. What’s more, through poor forecasting and a lack of understanding of the commercial options available, many organizations run the risk of investing in cloud on an inefficient commercial model – resulting in further wasted investment.

Another issue arises from the lack of visibility of clear and accurate data, making it impossible to control the demand and deployment of cloud services. To make matters worse, this accurate data is exactly what organizations need to be successful in any negotiations with Microsoft.


Top tips for Azure optimization success

In order to overcome the challenges associated with Azure cloud and ensure optimization in the long term, organizations will ultimately require a framework of cloud management and optimization to refer to. But before this is possible, it’s vital to have the correct processes and people in place:

Tools and data: The volumes of data in the cloud are expansive and, in order to properly manage cloud investments, technology and data are required to provide this valuable information. So, the first step for any organization will be to ensure they have the necessary tools to collect the vast quantities of data effectively and efficiently.

Expertise: The cloud is increasingly complicated and changing every day. In order to keep up with this pace of change and innovation, dedicated expertise is required. Some organizations may wish to have an internal team or individual Azure expert, whilst for others, third-party expertise may be the best option.

Cost optimization processes and framework: Once you have the tools and people in place, a framework of cloud management and optimization is required. For an effective cloud center of excellence, this framework requires: mapping of key process, business relationships and core deliverables.


How Livingstone can help

Livingstone’s Azure Optimization Service offers flexible options to best meet your organization’s needs and ensure you are able to manage your Azure investments effectively.

Azure Optimizer: Livingstone’s proprietary Azure Optimizer has been developed specifically to support organizations in driving cost optimization for Azure investments. The tool collects data from an organization’s bill of materials and performance insights alongside integration with specific pricing and services.  

Once the credentials are in place, Azure Optimizer will collect all the required data and provide a suite of clear and concise actions that will reduce costs in Azure via a number of key optimization areas, including rightsizing, reservations, licensing, and utilization. Organizations also get access to a simple set of dashboards and reporting, highlighting areas for optimization with a clear view on how to realize the opportunity and also track ongoing optimization.

Clouds Investment Managers (CIMs): Livingstone’s CIMs are a team of dedicated cloud experts focused on helping organizations understand where they are able to reduce cost, plan effectively and obtain the most favorable commercial and contractual terms. CIMs are also experts in the Azure Optimizer platform and work directly with organizations’ cloud teams to understand key priorities and objectives and ensure that deliverables are focused towards desirable business outcomes.

Once a month, CIMs will review and validate the findings from the Azure Optimizer and work with internal teams to understand the recommendations, providing clear and concise instructions on where to focus time to ensure success. CIMs are also able to provide support and guidance on contractual and commercial models for Azure consumption.

Azure Optimization Managed Services: For organizations that need data and technology as well as expertise and resources, Livingstone provides an Azure Optimization Managed Service. This combines the Azure Optimizer with a CIM to support organizations in understanding their outputs, as well as working with internal teams to implement changes and realize savings.


You may also wish to download our Azure Optimization Infographic that presents this information in a pdf.


To find out more about how Livingstone Group can support your Azure needs, please get in touch, or feel free to take a look at our full Microsoft managed services.



Simon Leuty, Head of Pre-Sales and Co-Founder

Simon sits on the Executive Leadership Team as Head of Pre-Sales and is responsible for the development roadmap of our client portal Livingstone Hub.

He has over 15 years’ experience of the Software Asset Management and Cloud markets, working closely with our growing customer base to help them take control of their software and cloud cost. Simon helps to eliminate unacceptable spend and enforce tight governance standards that keep them compliant, agile and secure.

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