Business owners are faced with many difficult financial decisions – one wrong move could spell disaster for their company. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable online solutions that can help you manage your business effectively. In the last couple of years, many company managers have begun to opt for #1. Stop Relying so Much on Technical Expertise Unlike traditional IT services, cloud storage and backup solutions require little to no technical expertise. The main reason why cloud services tend to be so expensive is that companies will lean on technical consultation too much. Sure, it’s nice to have someone around to fix your glitches every time the cloud decides to go haywire, but keep in mind that these consultations are not free of charge. When choosing a cloud solution for your business, look for consultation fees. The chances are that most of them are upfront, meaning that there are no hidden maintenance costs. #2. Eliminate IT Pros You don’t need a whole IT department in order to manage your cloud service. What’s the difference between technical expertise and IT pros? Well, technical expertise can pump up your costs, but a whole IT department dedicated to monitoring and maintaining your cloud means that your monthly fees can go up by 50 percent or even more, depending on the service you’re using. As it happens, most cloud storage services are easy to use and require little maintenance, and the initial plan includes instructions on how to deploy and how to maintain your cloud server. #3. Never Leave your Cloud Running Another sound advice on how to reduce cloud costs is to remember to “turn off” your cloud service when nobody is using it. Sure, it would be handy to be able to access your data even if nobody’s working, but keeping a cloud service running during off-peak hours translates into higher bills, and eventually, wasted resources. Of course, you can’t turn off a cloud storage service as you would do with a computer. Instead, you can opt for strict cycle monitoring service, which can help you manage all cloud activity during the off-hours. This makes sure that the resources are not wasted and that every cloud cycle is used to the maximum. #4. No Redundancy In this case, redundancy refers to how buying and deploying cloud solutions are being conducted. Unlike traditional IT business solutions, which have a strict buying and deploying schematic, cloud services are different when it comes to an upfront fee. Some online usage statistics have pointed out that entrepreneurs who prefer traditional IT solutions for their companies instead of migrating their data to the cloud, will often be forced to pay more. The best solution to this issue is to check beforehand with your cloud provider to see what they have to offer. The chances are that you’ll find something much more attuned to your company’s business profile, in terms of costs and utility. 5. Always Negotiate the Terms of Your Cloud Contract Breaking a contract with your cloud provider is like conducting any kind of business. Keep in mind that nothing is carved in stone and that you can always introduce some new details to the contract you are about to sign. In most cases, cloud storage contractors have business-tailored offers, which translates to discounts, extra storage capacity, and alternate methods of managing your company’s cloud. There are many ways in which failure to negotiate a cloud contract can act to your disadvantage. So, before settling for a simple-to-use cloud service, be sure to check all the terms of the contract you’re about to sign. Many cloud storage contractors often offer some non-negotiable offers, but many of them will be open to negotiating the deal. #6. Pay Attention to Small Details It is said that, sometimes, only the little things matter in life, like those little details which everybody tends to overlook. In this case, the details refer to those things that can either work to your advantage or your disadvantage. To give you a good example, some cloud service providers can charge you for extra storage space, even though you have a basic storage plan. So, if you go ahead and buy a 10 GB cloud storage plan, due to the nature of the ill-drafted contract, you might wake up at the end of the month paying for 100 GB or 1 TB worth of space. Also, take a very close look at the contract and search for the section called “add-ons.” While most of them can expand your cloud solution, many of them are redundant and can significantly increase your monthly bill. #7. Opt for a Multi-Platform Cloud Environment One of the best ways to reduce cloud costs is by maximizing efficiency. If you want to make the most out of a cloud solution, you must put in place the right networks, storage, and servers to cover your specific workloads. This is where multi-platform cloud environments come into play. MPCs can automatically assign workloads to the systems that are best suited to executing them. The architecture of multi-platform cloud environments is truly impressive because it blends mainframes, RISC machines and x86 servers into one cohesive mechanism. But what makes the multi-platform approach such a big deal when it comes to reducing cloud costs? The answer is simple: some workloads run better on specific system designs or processors. By automatically assigning and handling requests, powerful processors can focus on executing real work, which ultimately results in huge efficiency & significant financial advantages. “For MSPs that make their money on tight margins due to competitive pressure, this ability to know exactly what it will cost to run applications would be an advantage.” Source – ComputerWorld Images: ” blue sky with cloud closeup/ Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.