$410.9 billion. That’s how much end users spent on public cloud services in 2021. That’s an astronomical figure — and it’s only going up.
Gartner forecasts that worldwide public cloud spend will surge 20.4% to $494.7 billion in 2022 and grow to nearly $600 billion in 2023. Based on its “cloud shift” research, Gartner projects that 51% of IT enterprise spending in key market segments — application software, infrastructure software, business process services, and system infrastructure — will also shift from traditional solutions to public cloud.
As more organizations boost their cloud adoption, however, one challenge continues to baffle them: controlling cloud costs.
According to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report, 81% of organizations consider managing cloud spend a top cloud challenge — only behind security (85%) and a lack of resources and expertise (83%). Eighty-three percent of enterprises worry about managing their cloud costs, and 77% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have the same concern.
Over the next year, businesses intend to increase their public cloud spend by 29% but admit their current cloud spend is already over budget by 13% on average. To make matters worse, organizations self-estimate they waste 32% of their overall cloud spend — and that’s being generous, as many typically underestimate their total waste.
If you want to get the most out of the cloud, then you must “get a handle on forecasting and cost optimization.” Here are three ways to reduce wasted cloud spend and take control of your growing cloud costs.
1. Create a strong foundation
Most organizations have trouble managing cloud costs because their initial environments aren’t set up correctly. To avoid costly issues down the road, you must build a strong foundation — with suitable controls and governance — that lays out clear objectives from the jump.
Evaluate the workloads you’re moving to the cloud and properly align them with the business processes and outcomes. This will give you clear visibility into your environment, letting you see how the utilization of a process impacts your resource requirements, help you find better approaches should your business processes change, and connect a cost with each business process to identify greater return on investments (ROIs).
Additionally, maintain proper controls and documentation on how — and what — you're deploying. That way, if something goes awry, you can identify where the problem started and rectify it quicker.
2. Stay true to best practices
Adhering to best practices can help you keep your cloud costs under control.
Perform a complete discovery on your existing environment and build a full assessment of what your environment currently looks like. Identify your target environment so you can determine what you need from your future environment. Determine what you’re going to migrate and how you’re going to do it — in other words, pinpoint your migration waves.
Additionally, leverage tools from cloud providers that give you an untarnished view of your entire environment so you can see what’s being used. If you can’t get the visibility on your own, utilize the experience and expertise of third-party service providers.
3. Avoid vendor lock-in if you can
Escaping vendor lock-in is easier said than done. Oftentimes, you may find it’s too expensive to move from one cloud to another given the state of your data and where it exists. But there are ways to circumvent this dilemma.
Private cloud, for example, lets you keep ownership of your data and facilitate an exit strategy should your business needs change. It’s important to maintain that flexibility to transition your workloads to where you need them to be.
In the end, you need to be realistic. The cloud isn’t always the cheaper option for every situation. Know what you’re trying to achieve and choose the cloud provider that best helps you reach those goals.
Control cloud costs before they control you
Enterprise cloud adoption is only going to grow as businesses search for more flexibility and scalability, greater means of collaboration and increased accessibility. But simply being in the cloud is not enough — you must maximize your investment.
To take full advantage of the cloud, you must keep your cloud costs in check. Creating a strong foundation, maintaining best practices and avoiding vendor lock-in when possible will allow your business to succeed in the cloud without sprawling costs.