Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that allows an algorithm, software or a system to learn and adjust without being specifically programmed to do so.  ML typically uses data or observations to train a computer model wherein different patterns in the data (combined with actual and predicted outcomes) are analyzed and used to improve how the technology functions.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning (ML) models, based on algorithms, are great at analyzing trends, spotting anomalies, and deriving predictive insights within massive data sets. These powerful functionalities make it an ideal solution to address some of the main challenges of the supply chain industry.

5 Top Benefits Of Machine Learning In Logistics

1. Accurate Demand Forecasting

Anticipatory Logistics is no longer a figment of the imagination. Artificial Intelligence in logistics have the ability to evaluate thousands of disparate data sets and then recommend actions or even be programmed to act on the findings. From optimizing carrier selection, fixing on pricing and improving routing, Machine Learning can do it all. For example, traditional models looked only at intrinsic data but machine learning in logistics industry can dig much deeper than traditional correlations. It includes dynamic variables like weather, GPS systems, social media feeds as well as daily lane patterns. These algorithms can self-evolve over time and can keep finding more patterns and insights to remove inefficiencies.

Demand forecasting is an essential prerequisite for profits since cash can be tied up in stocks. The less time that inventory sits in a warehouse the less you spend. Knowing what the end customer can want at any given time or the ability to forecast multiple scenarios can improve supply chain agility. DHL has a predictive analytic model that uses over 58 variables. This is used to help freight forwarders know a week in advance whether average freight times can rise or fall and create contingency plans. By knowing what the trends in the market are, they can quickly move vehicles to areas with more demand and save operational costs.

Related:- Debunking 5 Major Cybersecurity Misconceptions

2. Cutting down on fuel costs

Logistics is a business where cutting down on a mile per vehicle each day can see savings of millions a year. Companies like UPS have actively used technology to drive their global logistics networks. One of these technologies is ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation). All UPS vehicles have systems and sensors that continually capture data. This feeds algorithms that in turn plan and optimize routes taken by UPS drivers. The millions of miles cut through optimized delivery routes is why ORION has become the standard to emulate.

Surprisingly, the most important insight provided by ORION was that the shortest routes are not necessarily the best. This supports the fact that AI can solve problems we didn’t even know existed. Turning left in countries with right-hand traffic and vice versa raises the ante on accidents as the driver is going against on-coming traffic. Waiting to turn also burns fuel needlessly. With this simple change, UPS burns 10 million gallons less fuel while delivering 350,000 more packages annually.

3. Predicting Price of a Load

There are over 500,00 trucking companies in the United States alone. Shipping a truckload from Chicago to Los Angeles will not cost the same as shipping from Los Angeles to Chicago. Prices change from season to season and from day to day. Price predictions are therefor the biggest challenge. Human experts are usually responsible for fixing prices based on their deep domain expertise. Yet this takes time and can only be learned by experience.

Machine Learning in Logistics are now removing the guesswork. They evaluate historical freight data along with concurrent data such as traffic and weather conditions to fix a fair price. Freight brokers can also use predictive models to run carrier analytics to find which carrier has moved what kind of product at what price. Choosing a carrier can thus become easier by matching freight to route and price.

Related:- 4 Ways Managed Services Improve Cyber Security

4. Robotics in Ware House Management

AI and Machine Learning for logistics bring up the world of robotics. Warehouse robots are no longer futuristic technology, there are already being used to track, locate and move inventory within a physical space. Robots have deep learning built into them, they have been trained using ML data capture  including computer vision to make autonomous decisions that cut down on time.

Tractica Research predicts that by 2022 most major players would have adopted warehousing and logistics robots. Sales are expected to reach a record of 30.8 billion dollars. British online grocer, Orcado has built a fully automated warehouse that uses space intelligently. The robotic machinery sorts and stores products with rarely ordered items in the bottom tiers. This ensures minimal time is required to sort orders and can clear 65,000 orders in just a week. Such flexible, scalable, robotic solutions will soon be a standard infrastructure, necessary to keep up with modern needs.

5. Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving cars or autonomous cars from Tesla to Google to Uber are foreseeing the future for logistic carriers. Existing laws prevent drivers from driving for more than 11 hours without an 8-hour break. Autonomous vehicles will increase time on the road, increasing delivery volumes while cutting costs by 25%.

While driverless trucks might still not yet be here, machine learning is already setting the way to that goal. Automated systems like lane-assist, highway autopilot and assisted braking features are making long-haul driving easier. These driving systems are also using ML based data capture to provide  information for multiple trucks to drive in formations that cut down on fuel usage. Completely controlled through computer-driven communications, it reduces fuel by 4.5% for the lead truck and up to 10 % for trucks following.

Cybersecurity preparedness is essential with the ever-evolving threat landscape we are currently living in. Given that it is no longer a matter of “if” you will experience a cybersecurity incident, but “when”, establishing a baseline and having a detailed cybersecurity plan in place is crucial to every business. However, despite increased focus and awareness on cyberthreats, several myths and misconceptions regarding cybersecurity continues to prevent businesses from protecting themselves effectively.

Cybersecurity

Below are Verity IT’s top 5 cybersecurity misconceptions that are vital to challenge.

Related:- Easily Host Your VPN on a HostDime Cloud Server

  1. Cybersecurity Is the Responsibility of the IT Department

Of course, your IT department or Managed IT Service provider plays a HUGE role in managing the cybersecurity of your business. However, you should never rely on them for complete cyber protection. Real cybersecurity preparedness is the responsibility of every single employee in your organization. Considering 63% of professionals report they don’t have enough security training to keep up with risks, Security Awareness Training is crucial for all businesses. With the rate of learning falling behind the pace of technology change, employee security education remains one of the most critical layers of security defense available to your organization today.

  1. We Haven’t Experienced a Cyberattack, So Our Security Posture Is Strong

Cyberthreats are constantly evolving in sophistication and complexity, and organizations need to continuously strive for cybersecurity. It’s merely impossible to achieve complete security but it’s important to have a strategic security posture help you detect an attack. An effective plan can mean the difference between a quick recovery and a serious blow to a company’s reputation.

  1. My Insurance Covers Cybersecurity Incidents

Another important item to check on is whether or not your general liability insurance covers cyber breaches. Many standard insurance policies do not cover cyber incidents or data breaches at all. We also recommend Dark Web Monitoring to help identify any compromised business credentials as a result of another organization’s data breach.

Related:- 4 Ways Managed Services Improve Cyber Security

  1. We Have Invested in Security Tools, So We Are Safe

Many businesses believe that if they invest in expensive security tools and solutions — they can build an invincible shield between their network and cybercriminals. Don’t get us wrong, sophisticated cybersecurity solutions are an essential part of keeping your business secure, but it will not protect you from everything. Security tools and solutions are only 100% effective if they are appropriately configured, monitored, maintained and integrated with overall security operations.

  1. Compliance Is Enough

 Simply complying with industry standards does not equal a robust cybersecurity strategy for your business. Although compliance is a crucial component of any security system, vulnerabilities and threats keep evolving which can only be managed through updating your cybersecurity practices consistently. This means going far beyond what your industry regulations are asking for.

One of the main issues with a compliance-based cybersecurity mindset is this that compliance is only a basic foundation – even most regulators will admit that the requirements imposed by security regulations are a bare minimum standard. An organization that has not taken the steps to move beyond compliance regulations has not seriously considered the responsibility it bears to its business and its clients!

Business life in 2020 has experienced a perfect storm of cyber security threats. Remote work expands the attack surface. Meanwhile, cyber criminals grow increasingly sophisticated, while a shortage of cyber security professionals leaves many businesses without adequate protection. cyber security

Fortunately, managed services improve cyber security in several critical areas.

Expertise at Your Fingertips

In late 2019, (ISC)2, a major nonprofit organization of cyber security professionals, conducted a study of the cyber security workforce. The study showed that the skills gap continues to widen. In fact, to adequately meet the data security needs of American organizations, the cyber security workforce would need to increase by 62 percent.

That means that as security threats increase, organizations find themselves without adequate resources to protect critical data assets. Increasingly, businesses turn to managed services providers (MSPs) to fill that skills gap. With managed services, businesses of all sizes can access the expertise of certified, experienced analysts and engineers.

Furthermore, because cyber security represents a significant focus for MSPs, they stay up to date on the latest trends, tools and threats. Thus, managed services improve cyber security by analyzing your organization’s needs and applying the right combination of skills and tools.

Related:- Easily Host Your VPN on a HostDime Cloud Server

Proactive, 24/7 Monitoring

Another significant way that managed services improve cyber security involves system monitoring. A reputable MSP will provide monitoring not just during business hours, but 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using machine learning, for instance, your MSP can identify unusual activity and proactively address issues even before a breach occurs.

Monitoring can include both your network and your cloud infrastructure, thus addressing the numerous data access points. Additionally, many providers offer automated compliance monitoring. With privacy and security regulations affecting industries across the board, compliance monitoring saves countless headaches and protects your business reputation.

Vulnerability Identification and Remediation

The MSP typically conducts risk assessments to determine the state of your organization’s cyber security and make recommendations. In the process, they will likely conduct vulnerability scans and penetration testing.

A vulnerability scan often uses automated tools to identify weaknesses in the perimeter, places where unauthorized persons could enter the system. Penetration testing goes further. Essentially, a penetration test simulates an actual cyber-attack, with a skilled tester acting like a hacker to try and exploit weaknesses.

Some regulations require vulnerability scans and penetration testing on a regular basis. Whether required or not, they form an essential part of a comprehensive cyber security strategy.

Related:- New Conversational Commerce App Increases Online Sales

User Education

The human factor remains an often overlooked weak link in data security. For example, one employee may click a link in an email, unwittingly downloading malware. Another responds to a seemingly urgent, but fraudulent, phishing email. Many use weak and easily exploited passwords or store password lists in files on the network.

One service many MSPs offer involves providing security training for your staff. Regular, focused user education reminds employees of security best practices. And when you back up that education with automated policies for passwords, email and file sharing, you strengthen your security posture. MSPs help with policy implementation, as well.

Discover How Managed Services Improve Cyber Security

For nearly twenty years, His helped organizations of all sizes secure their critical data assets. Proactive network monitoring, email security and comprehensive threat detection are just a few of the ways eMazzanti’s award-winning managed services improve cyber security.

Customizable security offerings also include services such as dark web monitoring, patch management, web filtering and predictive security. More security professionals conduct a risk assessment and work closely with you to implement a comprehensive cyber security strategy that meets your specific needs and budget.

A virtual private network (VPN) is a private network that lets you connect to the web and keeps your network traffic secure. When combined with HTTPS connections, this configuration allows for shielded wireless logins and transactions. VPNs also hide your location, helping circumvent geographical restrictions and censorship. Think of a VPN as unlocking your Internet freedom.

If that appeals to you, adding a VPN to your server is a no-brainer. However, setting up and configuring a VPN can be time consuming and complicated.

Host

Luckily for us all, the HostDime Cloud simplifies the process of deploying a VPN. In the following tutorial, we’ll show you how to get OpenVPN up and running on our Cloud. OpenVPN is an open sourced, fully featured VPN solution that accommodates many configurations.

Once you have OpenVPN installed, you can then add your favorite VPN client. Some popular ones include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, IPVanish, and VPNArea.

Related:- Helping enterprises improve team engagement

How to Set Up Your Own VPN on a HostDime Cloud Server

  1. Log into our Cloud platform from your HostDime CORE account.
  2. Create a new Cloud virtual machine and when asked to select a template, choose CentOS from the options on the left and then select Centos 8 w/ OpenVPN as the template and continue setting up the virtual machine as normal.
  3. Once your new Cloud virtual machine is running, log in via SSH as the root user and run. the following command to finish setting up your new VPN:
  4. You will be asked a few questions in order to finish the VPN setup process. When in doubt of what to chose, you can accept the defaults that appear in square brackets:
  5. Once the VPN is running, you need to connect to it to make certain it is working properly. Connect to the VPN with the .ovpn file provided using the main IP address (if none was specified it use the main IP of the virtual machine on which it is running). Use a VPN client that supports OpenVPN. We listed some of our favorites above.
  6. On Windows you can download the latest official OpenVPN client software here: https://openvpn.net/client-connect-vpn-for-windows/ You would place the file in C:\Users\$USER\OpenVPN\config and right click the application and click connect. It will read from your ovpn file and connect automatically.
  7. If you use macOS, you can download the latest official OpenVPN client software here: https://openvpn.net/client-connect-vpn-for-mac-os/ or you can use the free Tunnelblick application: https://www.tunnelblick.net
  8. There are OpenVPN compatible mobile VPN applications available for iOS and Android.

Related:- New Conversational Commerce App Increases Online Sales

Enjoy your new VPN hosted on HostDime’s Cloud!

Don’t yet have a HostDime cloud server? Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of our limited time offer.

HostDime will match your initial credit deposit! For example, if you put in $1,000, you will receive $2,000 total! There is no maximum to the amount we’ll match!

Is “conversational commerce” the next big improvement in online shopping? I hope so. I’m closely following the success of the new Octane AI conversational commerce app. It was announced this week along with convincing data on significant sales increases it generated by actual users. conversational

It works with Shopify, the shopping cart platform used by half a million eCommerce sites.

Related:- The Cost To Develop A Blockchain-Based App Platform

Not replace … enhance

“We are not trying to replace ecommerce websites or apps, said Octane AI CEO Matt Schlicht. “Instead we make them measurably more profitable and effective. Our new app dramatically improves the customer experience on online stores. We combine them with an automated concierge, and we have the numbers to prove it.” Those numbers, by the way …

Stores in the Octane AI private beta, including VerClare Boutique, Pure Cycles, Apt2B, Pearl Paradise, Filly Flair, Sweat Tailor, and Epic Rights, on average had 1 out of 9 Messenger messages sent convert into a sale, over 75 percent open rates on messages sent to customers, and recovered twice as much abandoned cart revenue. Stores in the private beta have made over $750,000 in new revenue.

“Conversation is actually one of the most natural and oldest ways to shop,” Octane AI VP Product Megan Berry told me. “What’s amazing about conversational commerce is the ability to do that at scale through messenger apps and chat. All of your customers can get personalized, instant attention with the help of messenger, automation and artificial intelligence.”

Related:- Helping enterprises improve team engagement

Messenger marketing for ecommerce

How does it work? CMO Ben Parr adds, “Octane AI is a bot concierge for your store that lives on Facebook Messenger. An Octane AI bot answers customer questions, recovers abandoned carts, and increases sales automatically — their customers see a 7 to 25 percent increase in sales on average. Imagine talking to a store on Messenger and automatically getting product recommendations, shipping notifications, and all of your questions answered. They are leaders in conversational commerce — using conversation, messaging apps, and voice platforms like Alexa to improve the shopping experience.”

The Octane AI website links to specific case studies with detailed numbers. VerClare Boutique founder Cristina Vercler says the app increased her business’s monthly sales by 14%. Pure Cycles founder Jordan Schau said “Octane AI has enabled us to talk to over 10,000 of our customers and has grown our revenue online by about 14%.” And there are more real numbers on the website at octaneai.com.

For the record, I don’t do paid commercial endorsements on this blog. I never have. Occasionally I promote my own books and software, but even that is only a handful of posts among more than 1,800 posts here. Octane AI is special because the Megan Berry I quote above, VP Product, is my daughter. I’ve also known and respected co-founder Ben Parr for years. And as of last year, I am also an investor. So that’s bias, and I’m proud of it.

Enterprises have continued to work in the remote work model and will mostly continue to do so until the pandemic is completely eliminated. The work from home model, however, resulted in distorted communication. CIOs believe that if this model has to continue, it is vital to develop measures for seamless communications between teams and their managers.

Enterprises

Managers need to follow modified processes to better team dynamics, boost employee engagement, and assure them that their voices will be heard clearly.

Paying attention

While micromanagement is not advisable, too much leniency where the employees are left wondering about their role or the role of the leadership is not advisable either. A regular one-on-one meeting where the personnel have undivided attention is a foolproof way to ensure that leaders have time with each direct report.

Read More: Minimize Cloud Wastage in Today’s Hybrid World

Conducting skip-level meetings

CIOs acknowledge that having one-on-one meetings with direct reports is critical, but they are not enough, in organizations with a complex structure. The skip level meetings allow leaders to skip over a manager to communicate with an individual contributor directly. Traditionally skip-level meetings need to be shorter (15 minutes or so) and less regular than one-on-one meetings. CIOs believe that skip-level meetings allow them to learn new aspects about the team members and detect multiple opportunities to serve the clients and go ahead in their careers.

The skip-level meeting allows leaders to organize their teams to ensure that they have diverse skillsets that are complementary to one another inside a business function. This gives clear data on where CIOs should go if impromptu business requirements come up.

CIOs say that it’s crucial that direct reports be given a heads up before the skip-level meetings are initiated. If such meetings are initiated without informing the team leaders first, they risk damaging the trust built up over the years with them.

One major element to be wary of is that C-suite leaders should avoid appearing favoring one particular contributor at all times and taking for granted their direct reports.

Acknowledging and building relationships

Enterprise leaders believe that it’s vital to be aware of the types of employees they work with. To be respectful of people who would rather receive a “Thank you” or “Great job” than be given stock options or a raise.

As C-suite leaders, they are expected to invest time in building relationships with every team member via one-on-one and other communications. Relationship building helps them understand what kind of an acknowledgment each employee answers to and then ensure to offer it.

Read More:- The Cost To Develop A Blockchain-Based App Platform

Providing authentic feedback

CIOs feel that it should always be authentic when positive feedback is provided; this includes either constructive or positive feedback. When the desired result is not achieved, it is vital to inform the team constructively.

It is better when feedback is provided at the earliest after an event or a situation as possible. CIOs should ensure to unambiguously point out the behavior or action in question and provide the scenario of any potential failure. It eliminates ambiguity and trains the team members to engage in targeted improvements. A one-on-one meeting is an excellent scenario to provide feedback at.

Boosting team engagement

Leaders say that paying attention to the responsibilities of the teams and developing skill sets via both skip-level meetings and one-on-ones with direct reports is helpful. Their accomplishments should be acknowledged in a manner that is unique to them and bosses should ensure they provide authentic feedback. A leader should remember to be a multiplier and start with scheduling regular one-on-one meetings with the team.

Blockchain technology is one of the most trending technologies these days and is used for more than just economic transactions. Blockchain tech can transform the traditional ways to do business and transact with each other. The term Digital transformation perfectly blends into the definition of blockchain.
Blockchain represents the decentralized network essential these days, and companies do not want to let this go. Businesses seek a top mobile app development company with several years of experience in building the blockchain app according to their needs. But the question is: how much does it cost to build a blockchain-based app platform?
Platform
The cost to develop a blockchain-based app depends on multiple factors, including app features, blockchain type, complexity, a blockchain platform, and other tech stacks. Considering numerous factors, examples, & numbers, we have evaluated the cost of blockchain-based app platforms.
In this blog, we will look at the various factors that should be considered to estimate a blockchain app’s cost.
– Process or Phrases
– Complexity
– Development Resources
We will look into each one by one. Let’s begin!
Cost Determination of Blockchain-based App
1. Process / Phrases

Cost of blockchain implementation is invested in various activities or phrases of the project, including:
– Design: System Blueprint, UI/UI design including wireframes, low-fidelity designs with app flow & high-fidelity designs with a mock-up.
– Development: Coding & Testing
– Deployment: Deployment on DevOps, Cloud Platforms, and Delivery
– Migration: Moving the current solution to the Blockchain platform
– Maintenance: Maintaining new updates & testing if the app runs seamlessly on each OS release.
– Upgrade: New features, Modifications in Smart Contracts
– 3-rd Party Tools: Hosting, Storage, Collaboration, Notification System
Blockchain-based platforms also incur other costs, such as a developer paying some fee to deploy a contract on the blockchain.
Below are a few third-party tools that blockchain apps might use:
– Bug tracking tools like Instabug & Bugsee: Collecting and reporting live bugs
– Amazon web services: Computing, storage, and delivery
– Analytics with Mixpanel: Analytics of funnel, insights, data, and reporting
– Notification services like AmazonSNS: facilitating notifications inside the app
Project Management Cost
For instance, applying an agile method to execute frequent meetings or daily scrums, track the existing sprint, testing, bugs, timeline, and deliverables. And using tools like Jira and Trello to enable the agile technique. The cost of using such tools can also contribute to the cost of blockchain. For example, using the Jira tool to deliver action items to customers & track the internal team’s progress.
Continuous Integration
It is essential to preserve a pipeline of quality code. Every developer must write code and conform to a standard code depository to ensure that it works seamlessly with everyone else’s code. The correct way to check this is by using an automated process. The source code can be handled with tools like Github and Bitbucket. These tools also contribute to the blockchain-app cost.
Maintenance
Since this tech is still new in the market, and new platforms are entering the market each day, the apps can be converted to different platforms based on their flexibility, scalability, and confidentiality. Moreover, every year Google, Apple, and various blockchain platforms release new OS updates. This calls for a maintenance cost of 15-20% of the overall project cost, and it could differ based on the complexity.
2. Complexity
The cost of blockchain depends on the complexity of your app, and the complexity depends on multiple factors.
We have segregated the blockchain app into 3 categories based on their complexity:
Low-Complexity Blockchain Apps
– Basic Smart Contract Development App
– Payment apps developed with current cryptocurrencies
Medium-Complexity Blockchain Apps
– Semi-decentralized apps
– dApps developed on blockchain platforms such as Hyperledger, EOS, Ethereum, Fabric/Sawtooth, and more
High-Complexity Blockchain Apps
– Developing a blockchain platform from the start
– Creating an entire decentralized network
3. Development Resources

The cost of recruiting a team for app development is a significant contribution to the estimated cost. Salaries to the software developers are the main expense, but other imp factors include vacations, incentive compensation, benefits, holidays, and payroll taxes.
There are several ways to develop a blockchain app, and some of them are as follows:
– Developing a blockchain-based app with an in-house team
– Recruiting a freelancer for a blockchain-based app platform
– Recruiting an agency to develop a blockchain-based app
In-House Team
Maintaining an in-house team of blockchain developers seems complicated only cuz’ of monetary factors. However, digging deeper, you will know there are plenty of issues. Although, you will have a dedicated team who will be on their toes if any problems arise. You will have complete control over your blockchain development and manage the team’s expenses, including their incentives, vacations, workspace, and more.
Since blockchain is still nascent, there is a lack of experienced developers in the market. The average pay of a blockchain developer is $150k annually. It can be more expensive to recruit an in-house team than outsourcing a blockchain development company.
Freelancers
Hiring freelancers can be the least costly for blockchain app development; however, 80% of businesses face problems like their availability, quality, response time, and more. You can recruit a freelancer if your project is small because the risk factor rises with the project scope.
Agency
Any blockchain specialized agency can be the best option. Agencies serve as a full-time service provider and are experienced in the app development practices like Agile & DevOps. The cost of a blockchain app is lower than the in-house team. Sign a contract before starting to work on your project, which includes deliverables with particular timelines. Hence, you can count on them for your core business competencies.

The cloud remains the most strategic resource for all businesses, hybrid offering greater organizational adaptability, agility, improved efficiency, and cost reduction – but managing its wastage remains most critical.

In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, businesses are turning to the cloud to support remote workers, improve productivity, and manage cost requirements. In fact, cloud adoption continues to expand at an unexpectedly exponential rate, as the Cloud Spot Survey stated that 82% of IT leaders are increasing their cloud usage. In the midst of such a quick development, it is easy to exceed the planned investment.

hybrid

However, many also risk not leveraging the advantages of cloud that they may already be paying for. It is vital to optimize cloud expenditure when supporting long-term distributed work environments, continuing to offer organizational agility, where eventually managing the overall costs is possible.

Cloud costs are far simpler

Many businesses are strategically utilizing the cloud as a resource, as it offers greater adaptability, improved efficiency, agility, and cost reduction. Despite all these benefits, a common challenge faced by enterprises when beginning their cloud journey is the mounting, unexpected bills. It is easy to comprehend how this poses a grave challenge, as the cloud is typically billed in a very diverse manner to traditional on-premises systems.

While individual public cloud vendors offer tools to manage their cloud services, they may not provide a comprehensive overview of all cloud deployments encompassing other private instances, public providers, and virtual machines.

Related:- Cost Optimization Strategies For Compute Instances

Poor visibility whilst on-demand

IT departments have an inherently more difficult task of understanding who is using when what and why across a hybrid cloud environment. It’s simple to spin up a cloud instance on-demand, which means that there could be activity beyond what IT teams are actually aware of, creating spikes in the organization’s overall bill. The same ease of use that actually differentiates the cloud also means that on-demand instances might not be managed strategically enough if IT teams lack complete visibility into these deployments.

The invisible domino effect

Just last year, Gartner forecasted that ‘cloud waste’ would reach $14.1 billion in 2019, up from $12.9 billion in 2018, indicating just how much of challenge organizations have when it comes to attempting to have visibility into and control of their cloud investments.

To manage cloud costs effectively and to avoid potentially unsustainable solutions, IT decision-makers need to set expectations, adjust policies about the use of the cloud, and understand the needs of their workforce accordingly to avoid short-term pitfalls.

Related:- The 4 Reasons to Consider a Managed Firewall

What Enterprises Need to Follow
1. Businesses must get the perfect tools in place to manage complicated cloud environments.
2. Ensure common cloud cost optimization strategies are in place as every organization needs to regularly check that they have rightsized resource allocation, created power schedules, and considered reserved instances for AWS, among others.
3. Establish organizational expectations and policies that clearly outline what acceptable cloud usage looks like.
4. Consider whether tools are required to provide additional visibility as the best tools combine insight from on-premises and cloud workloads in order to inform users and spend forecasting, as well as offering actionable or automated capabilities to address the suggestions quickly.
5. Set up robust governance and automation capabilities. A high level of visibility into cloud usage and requirements also enables process automation to eliminate significant cloud waste. By identifying the main sources of cloud usage, one can increase or reduce the available resource to ensure the most effective cloud use.

As firms turn to the cloud, IT leaders need to be aware of the wide-ranging requirements for cloud management. It is critical to achieve prior to the implementation of cloud systems, to prevent and curb the spiraling costs. Once an organization has decided to move a substantial volume of its legacy from on-premises to cloud technology, the ongoing management following migration must be the top priority on the company’s agenda. Visibility is vital to reduce the hybrid cloud challenge, regardless of whether an enterprise is on its individual cloud journey or outsourced it.

The study says, 50-to-80% of cloud bill comes in the form of Instances or Virtual Machine. And this cost can be minimized up to 40% if proper resource management strategy is followed.

Cost

Most of the companies while choosing the Instances (or VMs) considers the maximum expected load their infrastructure may subject to. In on-premise IT modal this approach is ideal because their hardware cannot be instantly upgraded according to load. But when it comes to cloud computing this is not the case. And this is what which makes cloud computing interesting. Here the infrastructure resources can be automatically and instantaneously scaled (both expand and shrink) depending upon the need. So while choosing the instances in cloud computing the clients need to understand their infrastructure are not going to need all resources all the time. And that is why they should plan resource management strategy accordingly to cut-down their expenses on the cloud.

So let’s discuss some common Cost Optimization Strategies for Compute Instances to save unnecessary expenses on Instances in cloud bill.

Related:- Safeguard your network and customer credentials

Cost Optimization Strategies for Compute Instances

Identifying Untapped Instances:

Selecting instances according to maximum expected load on the network is one of the key reason causing high instance bill to the clients. It needs to understand, generally, not all instances are used at the same time. So it is important to identify idle (unused) instance in the process and turn them off. Say for example you have created ‘n’ number of instances where the cost of one instance is 0.2 dollar per hour. And during the certain time period in a day, you have used only n-2 instances. If this happens one day for 5 hours the loss will 2 dollars (2*(0.2*5)) per day. But if this happens with more number of instances for more numbers of hours in a month, in that case, the loss will be higher. So turning them off will avoid the billing of your unused instances and save you from paying for them.

Related:- The 4 Reasons to Consider a Managed Firewall

Search for Higher Discount:

Cloud providers offer a high percentage of discounts if a client promises to use their service for the long run. So before selecting the instances do a proper research and select the most appropriate package.

For example, AWS on its EC2 Reserved Instances (RI) provides the maximum of 75% discount than comparing with its on-demand instances. There are three different categories of RIs standard RIs, Convertible RIs, and Scheduled RIs. And the discounts offered to them by AWS are also different.

EC2 Reserved Instances provides per hour billing with an optional capacity reservation on EC2 instances. When the attributes of EC2 instances matches attributes of active RIs, AWS billing automatically applies the discounted rates. You can also get a discount by choosing region scoped RIs.

Use AWS Spot:

AWS spot instance allows to you in optimizing the cost and helps in scaling the throughput of your applications around ten times. Here you pay the spot price in effect for the time period your instances are running. According to Amazon, AWS Spot instances allows users to save up to 90% comparing with on-Demand prices. AWS provides a tool called Spot Instant Advisor to compare the pricing of spot Instance against On-Demand rates.

Managed Firewall – As the first line of defense in your business network security, a secure firewall is one of the most important pieces of your network’s infrastructure. Without it, any hacker or intruder could easily access your critical and confidential information.

Managed

With more and more sophisticated threats developing every day, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve in keeping your business protected. It takes more than just purchasing a piece of hardware, plugging it in, and calling it good.

Whether you have a dedicated IT person within your company or not, there are numerous benefits to having a professionally managed firewall. Here are a few of them:

Related:- Safeguard your network and customer credentials

24/7 Monitoring and Alerting

As is the case with most Managed IT Service offerings, the benefits of having your network monitored 24/7 are countless. This is especially true for your firewall. With a Managed Firewall service, your firewall is continually monitored to ensure that it is online, up to date, and that any alerts are acted on appropriately. This is vital to ensure that network attacks are avoided due to unnecessary downtime or unseen issues.

Team of certified experts

While having a remote team monitoring your firewall is comforting, knowing that the remote services are provided by a team of certified security professionals will allow you to sleep easy. These certified firewall security administrators are trained and certified by security vendors and are experienced in configuring and managing firewalls, keeping them up to date, and troubleshooting issues to create a resolution.

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No license renewals

License renewals can be one of the ongoing annoyances in any IT department. In general, at least once a year your licensing must be renewed at a cost that is probably higher than last year. With a Managed Firewall solution, your cost is fixed from month to month so you always know what to expect. In addition, any licensing is taken care of by the IT service provider, taking that hassle out of your hands.

Reporting

Knowledge of what activity is taking place on your network can be incredibly insightful to understand how many threats were avoided, where they are coming from, and where you may have any weaknesses in your security. A Managed Firewall solution can also provide information on bandwidth usage over time as well as web usage, even down to a particular workstation, which can give insight into how effectively your team is using their time.