Thu. Dec 2nd, 2021

Cloud spending is now a significant part of a company’s IT budget, yet nearly one-third of it goes to waste. Here are some strategies to help you optimize.

Are you overspending on cloud services? If your organization is like most, you are — you just may not know it. But there are strategies to optimize cloud forecasting, purchasing, and managing to save significant time and investment.

Cloud spending is top of mind for most IT executives for a number of reasons. According to a 2021 survey, cloud costs are over budget by 23% and will likely climb an additional 47% this year. Executives believe that 30% of cloud spending goes to waste, and most are not sure how to fix the problem.

The good news is that focusing on specific strategies can yield immediate and tangible benefits — once you uncover the reasons for rising cloud costs.

Common Reasons for Wasted Cloud Services

1. Setting aside a piece of cloud, just in case

In IT we’re used to buying more than we need. It used to be that outfitting the company’s computing systems was analogous to looking into a crystal ball and asking, “What will the organization need before the next budget cycle?” Then we’d overbuild to ensure that our servers and equipment could handle unanticipated spikes in utilization.

The cloud changes this. There’s no need to pay for extra cloud now because you might need it later. Cloud services are dynamic, variable and auto scalable, allowing you to have just the right level of resources. Still, organizations habitually pay for more cloud than they need.

2. A bad case of zombies

In television shows and movies, zombies slowly shuffle towards us, making it easy to identify them and at least try to take them out. But in the cloud, zombies are menacingly quiet, idle resources that are easy to ignore. In cloud terms, zombies are a natural byproduct of routine activities. For example, something as innocuous as setting up a VM can create zombie resources. That’s because when you delete the VM, the associated resources, such as storage allocation and IP addresses, stick around like the undead.

If you’re not sure if you have zombie resources, you probably do. And while they’re not after your brains, they are extremely dangerous to the bottom line.

3. Employees who have a blocked view of the cloud

There may be times when the phrase ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you’ may make sense, but cloud usage is not one of them. If an organization and its employees are unaware of their cloud spend, and how much infrastructure is in use, they are ill-equipped to drive cloud cost optimization.

Often organizations do not track cloud metrics, and when they do, there’s frequently a disconnect between those who have the information and those who could use the insights to better manage costs.

Getting Set for Cloud Cost Optimization

Cloud services represent a shift in resourcing. But the associated processes and approaches haven’t caught up in many organizations. To prepare for cloud cost optimization, organizations should focus on developing the ideal toolset, skillset, and mindset.

The cloud mindset

Right-sizing cloud spend requires a significant shift in mindset as the company goes from just-in-case provisioning to real-time resource scaling. To minimize waste, organizations must cultivate a culture of financial accountability. A cross-functional approach across planning, architecture and operations can position the company to cost-effectively scale to variable usage patterns and operating cloud services to minimize waste.

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