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Is it time for your annual cloud platform check-up? 

It’s incredibly easy for organizations to accumulate a ton of new cloud platforms. FireOak recommends conducting a cloud platform check-up on a regular basis — at a minimum, once a year. 

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Abby Clobridge is the founder of FireOak Strategies. She works with organizations around the world to support knowledge sharing -- including open access, open data, information security -- to connect people to the data, information, and knowledge they need. You can reach Abby at [email protected]


It’s incredibly easy for organizations to accumulate a ton of new cloud platforms. FireOak recommends conducting a cloud platform check-up on a regular basis — at a minimum, once a year. 

Conduct a cloud platform check-up at least once a year

What’s a Cloud Platform Check-Up? 

Quite simply, a cloud platform check-up is the process of reviewing your organization’s full stack of cloud platforms and apps to identify any opportunities to: 

  • Cancel any subscriptions that are no longer needed
  • Eliminate unnecessary licenses
  • Downgrade to a lower tier
  • Assess whether you have any redundant platforms that might be ripe for consolidation
  • Review and strengthen security configurations

Benefits of a Cloud Platform Check-Up

Going through this process usually leads to: 

  1. Cost savings
  2. Strengthened security posture
  3. Improved knowledge management

Cost Savings

The cost savings benefits of conducting a cloud platform check-up are obvious, but still important – particularly in today’s cost-cutting IT climate. By identifying and eliminating any platforms that are no longer needed or are redundant, your organization saves money.

For example, is your organization using Microsoft 365 (with Teams) or Google Workspace? If so, do you really need Zoom?

Even eliminating dozens of licenses for a platform can potentially translate into thousands of dollars in direct cost savings.

Information Security Benefits of a Cloud Platform Check-Up

The information security benefits of reducing your cloud platform footprint are substantial. While the vendor is responsible for securing its servers and technical infrastructure, subscribers are responsible for setting and maintaining their own security configurations. Frequently, individuals or departments outside of IT end up unofficially end up being responsible for securing their accounts and data stored in these systems, since IT isn’t aware of – or simply doesn’t manage – certain cloud platforms.

For example, in these cases it may be unclear is responsible for:

  • Enforcing multi-factor authentication
  • Enabling an audit log if one is not turned on by default
  • De-provisioning accounts for staff members as soon as they leave the organization
  • Configuring the retention policy
  • Setting up cloud-to-cloud backups

Eliminating shadow IT platforms and consolidating niche platforms with a small number of accounts can be a huge boost to your organization’s overall security posture.

Knowledge Management Benefits of a Cloud Platform Check-Up

From a knowledge management perspective, eliminating niche platforms makes it easier for staff to find, discover, access, and re-use organizational knowledge.

We often hear from clients that staff “don’t know where to find things,” “spend lots of time hunting for knowledge,” or “not everyone has access to all of our platforms, so it is difficult to collaborate.”

Even if staff are accustomed to a particular platform, eliminating something for the good of the organization as a whole can address common knowledge management pain points.

Next Steps

If your organization has a well-maintained inventory and centralized management of all cloud platforms, including those that are paid for on a monthly or annual basis with a credit card outside of IT, it can be a quick and easy process to conduct a quick annual cloud platform check-up.

Schedule a 30-minute meeting with key stakeholders to review what’s in place, identify any candidates to immediately downgrade or eliminate, and identify candidates to review in more detail with relevant stakeholders to check in to see what’s still essential to support your organization.

Don’t know where to start? Contact FireOak for help.

FireOak Strategies is a boutique consulting firm that helps organizations manage, secure, and share their knowledge. We bring clarity to complexity, look for elegant and simple solutions, and make sure that organizations are focused on solving the right problems. Learn more…

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