Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly essential tool for modern businesses. Despite the global shift to the cloud, many administrators remain wary of the potential issues that migration could bring. Cost remains one of the most significant cloud concerns among businesses, which must operate on stringent IT budgets.
In the cloud, company administrators need to know how to manage costs and services. Traditional IT management provides you with the freedom to choose the most inexpensive hardware and power services. This can be more difficult in a cloud environment, which does not deliver as much control over these factors. As a result, managing costs in the cloud can seem like a daunting task.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which to manage your company’s cloud expenditures so that you can remain within your budget. Here are a few key tips that will make the process of cloud cost management easier for your business:
Determine where the costs are coming from.
If you are receiving a high cloud bill at the end of the month, then you will need to uncover the source of these costs. To this end, you will need to assign various cloud costs to those that use them. Each department, end user, and company project should have its own cloud cost breakdown. Not only will the cost breakdown help you to better understand where your expenses are coming from, but they will also allow you to pinpoint any costs that are unassigned. As a result, you can disengage those unused services and save money.
It is common for cloud users to transform their on-site data centers into hosting equipment for their virtual machines when they find they are using too much or too few of their cloud servers. However, this type of storage is not only much costly, but it also provides limited memory. When faced with these challenges, containers will be your best option to manage your cloud costs going forward.
These high costs typically stem from the amount of random access memory (RAM) that you will need to lease within a cloud environment. Cloud containers, a way of deploying certain infrastructure needs, require only a fraction of the RAM as traditional virtual machines and, thus, a fraction of the budget.
Watch your monthly cloud spending.
When using cloud services, you will likely see a difference in your cloud bills on a monthly basis. While it is good to know how much you are spending each month, a wide variation in your cloud bills could be a cause for great concern among your IT team. It will not always be clear as to why your cloud bills are so different from one another. In this case, you will need to look more closely at your monthly cloud usage.
Alerts are one method that you can use to track your cloud budget. Should you exceed your monthly spending threshold, the system will let you know so you can scale back your use of cloud services. This will also help your team to better understand your current cloud expenditures and determine what steps you can take to minimize future expenses.
Come to a long-term cloud agreement.
When monthly cloud cost monitoring isn’t sufficient for your company, you should consider working with your cloud provider on a more long-term cost management solution. This option will help you to monitor your cloud costs by allowing you to set a minimum service period. Should you wish to work with a cloud provider for at least a year, a long-term agreement can deliver better service prices than a monthly plan. Depending on the length of your cloud agreement, you can minimize spending on everything from storage services to computing power.
Build your cloud services around demand.
To manage your cloud spending, you may need to look at your service demand and re-evaluate where necessary. If your sales team is using an expensive type of report in their daily work, for example, then you could likely find a lower-cost option to replace it. You can do the same with any other features or services that you find that you are not using enough to justify the costs. This will allow you to negotiate prices that will accommodate both your current and future cloud demand.
Involve your team.
Your team will play a critical role in the management of your cloud costs. You can implement tools that will allow your staff members to monitor their cloud usage and costs at any time. Each worker can also set individual cost limits that will prevent them from exceeding their allotted cloud use budgets. By empowering your team in these ways, you can more easily manage your cloud expenses and further optimize costs down the line.
Explore your cloud options.
You do not always have to stay with your current cloud solution if you are looking to gain full control of the related costs. There are a wide array of options from which you can choose from when looking to get a handle on your cloud spending.
Depending on your budget, you could draft a service agreement with either a small or large cloud provider. Some smaller vendors can offer prices that are just as competitive as the major players in the cloud sector.
When looking at cloud models, it is important to know that public and private environments will not always meet your company’s budgetary needs. In lieu of these models, you could consider a hybrid or multicloud solution. Multiclouds, in particular, offer a number of options for cost management, including application mapping, integration, and structuring.