3 Ways Your Org Can Avoid Cloud Storage Price Increases

05.27.2021

Up, up and away: Cloud storage prices are on the rise

As cloud storage has become higher and higher in demand, it’s also gotten more expensive. Just recently Google announced its rebrand of G Suite to Google Workspace, which included storage price increases among all of their offerings. And Box made headlines earlier in 2020 with a major increase for some customers.

Since reducing storage cost and overhead was one of the key benefits that led many businesses to the cloud in the first place, these same organizations are now looking for ways to avoid the fast-approaching, expensive contract renewals.

Google Workplace Price Increase

Keeping on pace with its habit of frequent name changes, Google’s G Suite recently rebranded once more to Google Workplace in October 2020. Along with it, they increased the price of all of G Suite’s offerings. In many cases, the changes required customers to pay the same amount for fewer features, or pay more for the same features. The changes have added increased flexibility for some organizations, however, with mix-and-match plans that would allow organizations to pay for exactly what they need.

  • Business Starter — $6 per user per month
  • Business Standard — $12 per user per month
  • Business Plus — $18 per user per month
  • Enterprise — custom pricing

(Check out this Google Workspace SKU comparison table made by Reddit user u/hjkimbrian)

Box Cloud Storage Price Increase

While Box’s sticker price has not changed much, it has started capping previously unlimited storage on some of its larger customers – mostly for higher education institutions. For some, like Indiana University, this amounted to a cloud storage price increase of 1,000 percent. At Indiana’s excessive content volume, Box was simply unable to offer unlimited storage at their previous cost.

Indiana University’s Associate Vice President for Client Services and Support, Dan Calarco, said, “…we were put between a rock and a hard place: undertake a very disruptive move or pay a price that would likely make Box the most expensive single piece of software at IU.” (Find out how Indiana University completed that migration project here.)

Box’s standard pricing plans remain:

  • Business — $15 per user per month
  • Business Plus — $25 per user per month
  • Enterprise — $35 per user per month

What your organization can do to avoid big storage bills

These updates by cloud storage providers are causing a reckoning among enterprises that were previously unconcerned with what they stored in their repositories; cloud storage came so cheaply in the early days, that it didn’t matter what went in there. But now that prices are increasing and storage isn’t so unlimited, many are taking a closer look at how they can cut costs.

Here are three solutions that your organization can use to avoid hefty cloud storage price increases:

Migrate to Another Cloud Storage Platform

In response to rising costs, many organizations have simply migrated, or plan to migrate, to a more cost-effective cloud storage service. Some have opted to eliminate redundancy by moving all of their content to a platform that they already own. Many organizations already use a more complete product suite like Microsoft Office or even Google for capabilities beyond file storage and sharing. In these scenarios, it might make the most sense to consolidate content stored within extraneous content collaboration platforms, like Box or Dropbox, into OneDrive for Business, which they likely already own if they’re a Microsoft customer. While a file migration project certainly comes with its own costs, often enough the ROI of the migration is more than worth it.

Eliminate ROT Data to Optimize Storage Space

By analyzing content, organizations can more efficiently use their storage space. Especially if an initial migration was done as a lift-and-shift when storage came cheap, there’s a strong possibility that there is a lot of ROT (Redundant, Obsolete or Trivial) data in the mix. In fact, most organizations likely have some level of ROT in their systems. Taking the time to analyze this data and begin sorting through it by age, business value, or other parameters can enable your organization to simply purge this content from the system. Why pay extra to store trash? By eliminating ROT, many organizations have been able to reduce the amount of storage needed and therefore reduce their costs.

Archive Inactive Content to Cold Storage

Many companies with large amounts of data have adopted numerous storage solutions, making migration difficult. And with terabytes or petabytes of data, it is impractical for companies to go through everything to clean it up on their own. Additionally, some organizations within regulated industries must follow mandates requiring them to retain sensitive data or to store certain content for a specific amount of time – making it impossible to purge from the system entirely. With all of that to consider, it can sound impossible to reduce costs.

Luckily, there are incredibly cheap alternative storage options for archiving this impossible-to-delete but unnecessary-to-access data. Google Cloud’s Archive class offers cold storage for dirt cheap – $0.0012 per GB per month, or $1.23 per TB per month. Microsoft Azure block blob storage costs max out at $0.15 per GB per month and can get even lower than that, depending on access needs.

Instead of migrating the entire organization to a new storage platform altogether, using a migration tool to filter and move a massive amount of inactive content to one of these inexpensive options can save an organization hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. This can be done without any heavy lifting by the organization – and lacks any required change management or adjustments to business operations that would come along with a traditional migration project.

It’s time to reevaluate your storage needs

With more data comes more problems, and one of those problems is likely a steadily increasing storage bill. If your organization is facing a cloud storage contract renewal in the next year, now is the perfect time to assess your data landscape and see where you can eliminate ROT, reduce risk, and avoid cloud storage price increases. If you’re not sure where to begin sorting through your content storage needs, contact us today.

 

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