To Avoid Big Cloud Bills, You Need a Comprehensive Cloud Strategy
Cloud offers its users the ongoing opportunity to modify architectures and usage patterns, providing businesses the means to optimize both cloud utilization and cloud spending.
Challenges to Optimizing Cloud Usage
There are a number of reasons it’s difficult to optimize cloud usage. Some are inherent, due to simply to the nature of the cloud; others are due to the way businesses choose to leverage the cloud.
One of the biggest obstacles to using cloud efficiently and effectively is the way cloud has been adopted. Because businesses were rightly concerned about making this major shift to their information technology, cloud has been adopted slowly. Workloads are shifted to cloud one at a time. Doing that migration slowly is appropriate, but to use cloud effectively, it needs to be in the context of an overall strategy regarding cloud architecture and cloud utilization. Making those decisions one-by-one for each individual application during its migration results in a piecemeal collection of cloud services that are likely underutilized and overly expensive.
Another obstacle to optimizing cloud usage is that old habits are hard to break. IT departments have certain ways of doing things that worked well when their IT resources were in-house, but are less appropriate when using cloud resources. If you lift-and-shift your hardware, software, deployment, and support standards and processes to the cloud, the environment will simply mirror your premises rather than effectively leverage cloud.
Finally, cloud environments are difficult to optimize because they change constantly. Self-service means resource decisions aren’t always made strategically, and bills can be difficult to understand and assign to departments.
Optimizing Cloud Utilization and Spending
The first two of those obstacles can’t be addressed by taking a closer look at your cloud bills. Instead, you need to slow down and consider your entire cloud project. By the time businesses start to worry about cloud utilization and spending, multiple applications will have made the transition. Before moving on with the rest of your workloads, stop to review the architecture that’s supporting those cloud resources. Make sure they’re following an overall strategy, and if they aren’t, take the time to clean up and rationalize those systems before deploying any other systems. Then make sure that all your future cloud migration planning is in line with your strategy.
Also take time to make sure you’ve trained your IT team to truly understand cloud. They need to adjust to the cloud way of doing things in order to make sure they make the best decisions for resources in the cloud.
Once you’ve got that in place, go ahead and take other measures to make sure you use your cloud resources properly. Reporting can help you monitor utilization, enabling you to consolidate or down-size underutilized systems. You can implement policies such as shutting down unneeded systems to reduce unnecessary spending.
Need help developing your cloud strategy or managing your cloud deployment? Prescient Solutions provides IT consulting and managed services to businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg, helping address IT challenges in the cloud and on premises.