Consolidation 101: How consolidating tenants can improve cost management, security, collaboration and engagement



by Joe Livarchik & Lauren Brunson

The recent and widespread shift to remote operations has led to a flurry of activity for many MSPs and IT service providers. They’ve had to quickly spin up tenants for companies and universities to support remote work. Suddenly needing to enable employees to work from home, many organizations found they were unable to support a remote workforce on a large scale. So, they turned to service providers to help mobilize a remote-work plan.

Quickly spinning up a tenant can be effective in the short term, but it’s reactive. It lacks a more comprehensive cloud-enablement plan. Consequently, organizations end up having to manage multi-tenant environments and an excess of public or private cloud resources. This can lead to inefficient operations and ballooning costs.

For businesses looking to further unlock value and streamline cloud operations, consolidating multi-tenant environments enables them to leverage cloud solutions more effectively. Consolidation also leads to better cost management and seamless engagement between tenants.

The hurdles of multi-tenant environments

Generally, larger companies will employ different domains or sub-brands. A parent company might assign a separate Microsoft 365 tenant to each smaller company or branch under its umbrella. Tenants that operate differently are often split. For instance, in the education sector, university tenants are often split between faculty and students.

Multi-tenant splits can lead to an array of challenges. Where do end users log in? Where is their data located? If their portals and applications aren’t properly synced with the new platform, the end user will have to log into different places. Further, users may be confused about finding and accessing their data, where that data lives, how it will be shared, and if it’s still on-prem or moved to the cloud. For IT teams, multi-tenant environments present more endpoints and variables to manage. This means more time and effort from the MSP is spent locating users, data, and resolving issues. And this means increased IT costs.

How a larger cloud enablement plan helps

A larger cloud enablement plan has many benefits. Above all, it allows companies to plan for expansion. A cloud enablement plan provides a clearer picture of what data needs to be moved during a migration. It also provides more control in shaping the company’s IT future. It enables companies to grow in the cloud and eliminate the hassles and headaches of managing users and data across on-prem and cloud environments while eliminating the need to back up on-prem systems.

A cloud enablement plan also leads to improved overall security. It helps companies maintain compliance with industry regulations and stay ahead of changing security requirements. A consolidated cloud environment offers better insights into user activity and enhanced report monitoring, and security updates for cloud systems are pushed frequently. All of this leads to better overall control of the environment.

Best consolidation practices

To effectively consolidate multi-tenant environments, a detailed plan is critical. MSPs and IT service providers should have a checklist of tasks to complete to make sure the project is successful.

If tenants are being consolidated in an M&A scenario, it’s vital to consider the total number of users and their roles within the company. Do they work in-office or remotely? Will the domain name of the tenant be changing? Additionally, take into account the compliance regulations for the client’s industry and how much data will be migrated. These will factor into the project timeline.

To make sure costs are effectively managed, MSPs and IT service providers should work with organizations to determine the appropriate number of licenses that will benefit end users. Not all employees will require platforms and services like Teams and OneDrive; some in-the-field employees may only need email and data backup. Consider the nature of the company’s users and its day-to-day operations to accurately estimate the project costs.

The growing need for consolidation

With more companies relying on remote operations, the demand for consolidated tenant environments will only continue to increase. Mergers and acquisitions will drive the need for consolidated tenants. Companies that began their initial move to the cloud will further adopt cloud services to enhance their operations and maintain business continuity. Additionally, technology upgrades from cloud providers like Microsoft and Google will drive migration projects.

Since the pandemic, businesses have had to quickly mobilize remote work plans. They’ve turned to cloud services to maintain operations and spun up new tenants for the short term. In the long term, however, consolidating multi-tenant environments will lead to more efficient operations, improved collaboration and engagement, and better resource management. Having a comprehensive cloud-enablement plan will help ensure companies operate efficiently and are positioned for continued business growth.

For more information on how to make consolidation work for your organization, contact BitTitan to schedule a meeting with your local representative to discuss how MigrationWiz can benefit your transition to the cloud.

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