Cost savings is one of the major reasons companies are attracted to cloud computing. Many businesses expect to enjoy significant financial benefits from migrating their systems and workloads to public cloud service providers (CSPs). They also anticipate the access to advanced technology, flexibility, and scalability offered by cloud vendors.
Unfortunately, almost half of companies using the cloud have difficulty controlling costs. This leads to dissatisfied customers and can impact an organization’s ability to allocate the necessary financial resources to innovate and compete successfully. Saving costs on current cloud services enables a company to strategically increase its cloud presence.
Why Does a Company’s Cloud Spending Get Out of Control?
An organization’s spending on cloud resources can get out of control for a variety of reasons. They can all add up to a significantly larger bill for cloud services than anticipated.
Propagating the lift and shift mentality
The easiest and fastest way to move workloads to the cloud is via the lift and shift model. This model attempts to replicate an on-premises system or environment using public cloud resources. Using this method of migration does not use cloud resources efficiently. Companies may find that rearchitecting their systems to use cloud resources more effectively can lead to cost reductions.
Companies often contract for cloud services based on the number of users accessing the solution. The functionality of a cloud-based application may wind up being useful to a larger subset of employees than originally planned. Though the costs of adding an individual user may be negligible, over time this can add up to a significant amount of money.
Companies can easily over-provision when moving production systems to a cloud vendor. In an attempt to ensure they contract for enough resources to maintain optimal performance and availability, they may provision for more than they need. Once this overspending is in place, it can be hard to rectify without a deep analysis of system usage. Companies may not be motivated to perform this activity and end up spending more than they should over the system’s lifetime.
In addition to excessive resource provisioning on production systems, many companies have expensive dedicated development and test environments. While they are important, these systems often do not require the same level of performance and can be configured to use minimal cloud resources. The ease with which systems can be scaled for testing can result in companies being charged for resources that were only used for a limited time and have not been turned off when no longer needed.
Adding unnecessary services and products
Companies venturing into the cloud may be enticed to add services and products that don’t address a clear business objective. Teams may contract to try a service that doesn’t meet their needs but neglect to remove it from the budget. It can be difficult to identify these services without deep visibility into the environment and an understanding of the company’s business requirements.
The ease with which cloud services can be obtained can also result in employees using products that have not been approved by management. Individuals may use a specific service or product that helps them do their job which has not been included in the organization’s cloud computing budget. This Shadow IT environment can be costly and hard to pinpoint due to the complexity of CSP billing and the reluctance of employees to part with services they find useful.
How to Keep Cloud Costs Under Control
Companies can use several methods to help control cloud costs. Used together, these measures can make a major difference in their monthly cloud bill.
Carefully budgeting cloud services
A majority of cloud services are offered on a subscription basis which may be unfamiliar to teams skilled with provisioning on-premises environments. Companies need to know how many employees will be using a service to correctly estimate its cost.
Managing cloud resources
Cloud services and resources need to be managed efficiently to reduce costs. Switching off services when not in use can lead to substantial savings. Employees need to understand how the usage of cloud services impacts their costs.
Integrating cloud services with on-premises and legacy systems will lead to productivity gains and often an associated reduction in costs. The enhanced efficiency of integrated systems can also provide a business with a competitive edge over market rivals.
Visibility into the cloud services an organization is paying for and how they are being used by its employees is the most effective method of controlling costs. The right tools will enable a company to identify the apps that need to be removed, wasted resources, and opportunities to optimize existing systems.
The VAST View Cloud Management Solution
The experts at VAST understand the complexity of efficiently managing a cloud environment and controlling costs. They know that visibility into the environment is a critical factor that influences the budgeting of cloud services and how they are managed.
VAST View is a tool that assists companies in the planning and execution of cloud migration. The tool provides a roadmap suitable for optimizing on-premises, hybrid, or multi-cloud environments. VAST View begins with the planning phase of a migration and runs through all aspects of delivering a secure and automated solution.
The VAST View Cloud Management Platform provides the visibility your company needs to control costs. It provides multiple benefits including:
- Improving ROI by saving up to 30% on monthly cloud costs;
- Managing cloud resources more effectively in less time;
- Simplifying cloud management;
- Providing visibility to identify shadow IT resources;
- Reducing risks to the environment proactively.
Companies can start their journey toward a more efficient and cost-effective cloud environment with a cloud assessment from VAST. The assessment produces a report that details opportunities for optimization and improvement across an organization’s computing environment. It looks at cloud services from multiple perspectives including cost, usage, and performance. The evaluation provides recommendations on how to achieve savings and effectively manage your cloud services.