In the past, we've discussed a number of things pertaining to the cloud. Why people would want to move to it and what cloud rationalization is for example. However, one of the biggest things about the cloud is the price tag. Today we're going to talk about managing cloud costs.
Sure the cloud is a great way to save money (at first glance), but there are hidden dangers that you should be aware of. Read on to learn more.
There are a ton of different vendors for cloud services, most of them aim to help businesses with the digital transformation, streamlining of business practices, improving efficiencies, scalability and saving money - but therein lies the biggest danger - out of control growth.
Cloud platforms make it super easy to add more space and download applications to be run. This can snowball and quickly get out of control.
A study published on CIO.com found that 40 percent of IaaS instances were provisioned with more resources than the workload needed. In other words, paying for services that aren't being used.
In addition to overprovisioning, many cloud providers have contracts and billing structures that can be very complex thus leading to further confusion and higher bills.
Managing Cloud Costs
The real issue is how much utility your organization is reaping for its investment, in other words, what is the real value of your cloud spend? This can often be the most difficult part of working with a cloud provider.
Here are our tips on how to stay on top of your cloud spend:
- Collaboration between departments: It is quick and easy to add more cloud features and storage. If this happens in a vacuum, someone is going to be left holding the bag when the bill comes. Divisions must communicate on spend, scale and intent.
- Tie cloud usage to some sort of pre-determined KPI. Setting goals and objectives and staying on top of them will help you determine your cloud needs, effectiveness and if you should reconsider when you feel that you need to buy more.
- Look into tools to help track and manage spend. Some cloud providers offer tools to do this, however, there are a number of third-party vendors that can assist as well.
- If you will be moving to the cloud for the first time, partner with a trusted thrid-party specialist that can help you navigate the "lift-and-shift" aspect of migrating your assets to the cloud.
As organizations press ahead with the digital transformation, cloud adoption will become more and more prevalent. Businesses from small shops to the enterprise level will need to be cognizant of the challenges that the cloud can present.
Understanding your cloud contract(s) as well as having a strategy in place for adoption, usage and management will be paramount.