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Keep Your Cloud Costs in Check Featured

Keep Your Cloud Costs in Check "Girl holding American Dollar Bills"

As cloud infrastructure continues getting complex and the number of deployments keeps rising, the cost of running a cloud is becoming an important area of focus to organizations. It means that you have to control cloud spending by all means, and this means you have to keep your cloud costs in check at all times. Recent interviews show that the costs of cloud deployments have become a painful ordeal for organizations, most of whom would want to minimize their spending while expanding their services.

Although the concern about the cost of the cloud has surged over recent years, it is nothing surprising. This was expected to come considering the rising number of businesses moving to the cloud as they seek to better their storage and compute. The rising number of cloud companies also meant the customers would soon have many alternatives, and the cost would be a differentiator. Customers benefit from the intense competition, such as that between Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure by Microsoft. It is projected that by 2022, spending on public cloud services will be above $370 billion. This shows the speed at which the cloud is growing.

As technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning continue advancing, mature customers are leveraging them. These technologies have made customers more agile than ever. The challenge, however, is the cost of software-as-a-services and the never-ending add-ons, which can make the entire cloud cost higher than anticipated. According to a State of the Cloud Report by Flexera, cost optimization is a priority for many organizations. These findings show that multi-cloud deployments are gaining momentum. RightScale (Flexera-owned), on the other hand, found that most organizations are not doing cost-optimization. The use of containers has also increased the costs, with more than $12 million spent by 8 percent of the respondents. On the other hand, another 15 percent spent between $2.4 million and $12 million. Among all that participated in the study, 64 percent had cost savings as their top agenda. Organizations also wanted improved financial reporting on cloud costs.

Cloud cost management helps enterprises control their spending and aids them in maximizing their resources. While most cloud providers have cost management tools at their disposal to help customers achieve cost management, most of them are basic. However, third-party solutions that are more specialized exist. These solutions offer additional visibility and insight into the costs of the cloud.

The first step towards keeping an eye on the costs is to understand the need for cloud services in your business. This requires IT professionals with knowledge of cloud computing to be brought into the picture to show how the company can benefit from using cloud services. The reasons can be to improve workflow, strengthen the security or increase flexibility.

Budgeting your service expenses should follow. Always strike a balance between the needs and the spending capacity. Know precisely where your cloud spending goes and why it goes there. This can be difficult if you lack the necessary tools. If you are using Kubernetes, microservices, and containers, among other cloud-native technologies, budgeting may be tricky because there is no complete visibility into the costs. Without full visibility, you will not know how much capacity is allocated and the amount under use. This makes it hard to cut down the extra capacity needed and save on some costs. Knowing the departmental usage can help implement cost-cutting where needed as this will uncover the existing loopholes in capacity and storage allocation. It will also allow organizations to apply the data-saving method that is in place better correctly.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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