Getting bills in the mail is never fun. This is true whether it’s your own credit card or your company’s. Even when you buy at a discount, costs have a way of mounting up.

That’s true for cloud spending, too. Surveys show that many companies are experiencing “sticker shock” every month when the cloud bill arrives.

Control the Price You Pay

There are numerous ways companies can start taming those monster bills and make sure they’re getting the cost savings the move to cloud promised.

First, managing costs needs to be a management priority. Otherwise, it’s too easy for departments and even individual employees to purchase cloud services. That can create increase the security risks you face as well as your spending, so there’s more than money at stake here

Second, just because we’re talking about “sticker shock” doesn’t mean you should be paying “sticker price.” Every cloud provider offers various discount options, including reserved instances (where you get a reduced price if you commit to using a specific level of resources in advance) or their opposite, spot instances (where you snap up last-minute availability at reduced prices). In addition to their standard discounts, you may be able to negotiate an individualized discount as well.

Control the Resources You Use

Beyond looking at pricing for your resources, you can get spending under control by limiting the resources you use. Since cloud pricing depends on the size of your systems and their uptime, making sure you match size to demand is key. Consolidating workloads can improve utilization and reduce costs.

In addition to controlling resource size, you should control resource time. Shutting down services when they aren’t needed will also result in lowering costs for pay-as-you-go services.

Develop Cost-Saving Policies

Because so many individuals and departments bring cloud resources online, develop a set of policies and guidelines to assist them in using their resources effectively. These policies can assist you in ensuring resources are sized appropriately and shutdown when they aren’t needed.

Use Tools to Enforce Controls

Start with tools that give you visibility into your cloud resources, because if you can’t see them, you can’t measure or manage them. Then use tools to enforce your policies.

Manual methods aren’t very effective in applying these controls to cloud. It’s difficult to ensure that policies are applied to all resources, especially across multiple clouds. Doing it manually also takes a lot of time. Instead, look for automation tools that can identify where policies are missing and automatically deploy them. The automation tools can also make sure resources adhere to best practices for security.

Because making sense of cloud costs is complicated, use tools to help you track and analyze your cloud spending. VAST IT Services partners with CloudHealth to help track and optimize spending. Contact us to learn how CloudHealth can help you can gain insight into your cloud spending and leverage your cloud resources most effectively.