Building a Framework to Assess the Total Cost of Cloud IT Infrastructure

Written by Sean Blanton on January 22, 2021

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The trends of the past few years with respect to workplace technology use have greatly expanded the ability of all businesses – small, medium and large – to grow faster, experiment more and stay connected with one another (and the systems they work with). More and more, workers actually have a choice in the kinds of devices, software, and cloud-based applications they can use to get their work done. Organizations can even enable remote work. And, all of this is a positive shift – it helps users be more effective and (hopefully!) more efficient, but it adds significant complexity to an IT organization’s operations.

Shifting Away from Homogenous Environments

The hegemony of Windows is gone – Mac continues to proliferate throughout businesses worldwide as a prominent workstation choice (and at JumpCloud we even see a larger-than-you-might-think use of Ubuntu workstations across our user base), and Linux powers 96% of servers worldwide. Small-to-medium sized enterprises (SME) use 100 SaaS applications on average, in addition to working more and more within the cloud-based environments that support business applications. This might have made the move to remote work easier if not for the fact that IT also needs to support and maintain legacy, on-prem solutions like Active Directory to provide access to many of these same applications and environments. Even before COVID-19 hit these trends were adding continual pressure to the bottom line in terms of complexity and management costs; 2020 kicked these trends into overdrive. 

And on top of all of that, the security implications are stark; SME’s were already targeted for malicious attacks before the rise in remote work scenarios, which has only made things worse. According to a report published by Malwarebytes, 20 percent of cybersecurity leaders say they have faced a security breach because of a remote worker in 2020. Phishing attacks are on the rise and as an example, 74% of data breaches started with privileged credential abuse. And if that wasn’t enough to worry about, IT admins are also facing more complex compliance regulations and mandates.

What’s the bottom line? Well, there are a few for sure, but this online event co-hosted with the team at Altitude Integrations focused on this key fact: the cost of managing IT infrastructure is growing at an immense rate, which can have far-reaching consequences beyond just the dollars spent to build out the base infrastructure needed to run the business. This means it’s more important than ever to have a strong foundation upon which you can accurately calculate the true cost of ownership to operate IT infrastructure, both in the cloud and on-prem.

Check out this clip where Senior Product Marketing Manager Dennis Clark starts to dive into the considerations beyond the licensing fee that go into assessing total cost of ownership:

With the help of Brett Ramberg, co-CEO and managing partner of Altitude Integrations, a Colorado-based cloud focused managed service provider (MSP), we dive deeper into what those costs are, how to categorize them and, most importantly, how to combine the quantifiable and unquantifiable costs that provide the underlying total cost analysis. As Brett put it, if you take a holistic approach and build a framework to start, you can take this into your organization and account for the specifics of your environment, buying power and growth projections to produce an output that is reflective of your company. 

Hear how Brett talks about what three considerations he takes into account when building a TCO framework:

As you saw in the clip above, Brett takes you through the process of calculating the quantifiable costs of managing infrastructure on-prem with respect to hardware, licensing, security, SSO and identity, and then steps back to talk through the unquantifiable costs that come into play. Discussing total cost of ownership is never just a dollars and cents conversation; abstract concepts like morale, risk and management overhead are critical components to consider, and Brett shows you how his framework allows you to account for them in a concrete way.

The True Total Cost of Operating Core IT Infrastructure in the Cloud

Join Brett and JumpCloud’s Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Dennis Clark, to gain insights that will help you calculate the TCO of directory services and make the right decision for your organization.

About Altitude Integrations

Founded in 2009, Altitude Integrations’ mission is to provide proactive and innovative IT solutions to small & medium-sized businesses around the globe. Let’s talk about how we can help solve your IT challenges. Visit to learn more.

Sean Blanton

Sean Blanton is the Director of Content at JumpCloud and has spent the past decade in the wide world of security, networking and IT and Infosec administration. When not at work Sean enjoys spending time with his young kids and geeking out on table top games.

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