Effective budget management and cost control require careful coordination and planning. The budget for cloud implementation is no exception. Despite the fact that this is common knowledge, many businesses incur unnecessary expenses early on in their cloud journey.
For a variety of reasons, cloud spending is top of mind for most IT leaders. Cloud costs are 23 percent over budget, according to Flexera’s “2021 State of the Cloud Report,” and are expected to rise in the future. Most executives believe that a significant portion of their cloud spending is wasted, and they are unsure how to remedy it.
The good news is that focusing on certain strategies can result in tangible and immediate benefits — once companies figure out why cloud costs are skyrocketing.
Determine stakeholders and ensure everybody is on the same page
Cloud computing affects a wide range of business functions, each with its own set of objectives. Duplicated efforts and waste are unavoidable if the focus is on individual requirements like marketing automation, customer relationship management, human resources and recruiting, and so on. And IT is frequently brought in after the event to combine these disparate requirements with its own efforts to handle basic organizational computing systems.
Creating consistency, harmony, and transparency between executive strategies and business or functional units is the most effective way to acquire control over cloud spend. Coordination requires strong clear communications, executive leadership, and organizational buy-in since stakeholders are so diverse and their needs are so functionally specific.
The need for a cloud mindset
As the organization moves from just-in-case provisioning to real-time resource scaling, right-sizing cloud spend necessitates a substantial shift in mindset. Organizations must establish a culture of financial accountability to reduce waste. A cross-functional approach to architecture, planning, and operations helps position the organization to cost-effectively scale to changing usage patterns and operate cloud services while reducing waste.
Plan cloud migrations
The best strategy to reduce cloud spend waste is to plan migrations properly so that identical systems are not running on-premises and in the cloud at the same time. Of course, some redundancy is required to ensure a smooth transition, but it is critical to prevent excessive duplication as much as possible.
To optimize contracts, migrations should also be planned ahead of time. If the migration’s level of effort or complexity prevents this, legacy contracts should be extended for only the time needed to accomplish the migration rather than for the entire contract window. Businesses should start planning the migration as soon as feasible for current legacy contracts that are going to expire, and start with some margin before the legacy contracts expire. It’s less expensive and less stressful to start the cloud contract early, knowing that everything will work than to need an emergency extension of a legacy contract if something goes wrong. By removing technical debt in this way, solutions become more cost-effective after they are moved to the cloud.
Control access and monitor usage
Businesses should start laying the identity and access foundations early in their cloud migration strategy for complete control over data access and resource consumption. In fact, this is so important that they should always begin here. This will certainly save costs, but the benefits of proper identity and access for the cloud environment in terms of security and convenience cannot be overstated.
They should also keep track of activity in order to spot trends and improve efficiency. Tagging and logging are extremely important since without them, it is impossible to accurately track trends and usage. Logging provides a more detailed and granular perspective of the cloud environment, and when combined with tagging, it can help uncover resources that can be optimized to minimize costs.
The cloud skillset
Of course, new flashy tools are useless if one doesn’t know how to utilize them. That’s why businesses must cultivate IT expertise in evaluating cloud cost and usage data, as well as making the appropriate modifications. A good technical background in cloud architecture, as well as a grasp of the costs and business repercussions of various design patterns and potential alternatives, are required to drive cloud cost minimization.
Companies that lack the in-house skills to properly implement a FinOps, or cloud financial management strategy should partner with a managed service provider (MSP) that provides cloud cost optimization. Partners like these can help strengthen an organization’s capabilities while also ensuring that best practices and financial accountability are followed.