The Silver Lining In Your Cloud TM

Keeping Cloud Costs from Spiraling Out of Control

One of the major advantages of using the cloud for your IT infrastructure is that it can provide significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. However, many companies that adopt cloud services can find themselves being ambushed with hidden costs and fees for services that they thought would be included.

Here are a few tips to help your company avoid getting hit with unexpected costs of using the cloud.

1: Create a Sound Cloud Implementation Strategy

According to statistics cited by CIO Insight, “79% say their company has encountered no less than $75,000 in unplanned costs over the last three years to make their cloud services as effective as possible, with nearly one of five saying their organization has spent at least $1.5 million on this.”

There are many different sources of unexpected charges cited in CIO Insight’s article, including:

  • Upgrades: 36%
  • Customizations: 35%
  • Internal maintenance for software: 35%
  • Consultancy charges at implementation phase from cloud provider: 34%
  • Personnel required to manage deployment: 33%

These costs are among the most commonly-cited according to the article. Some of these costs are unavoidable, and would be incurred whether you use cloud services or an on-premises solution.

However, creating a sound cloud implementation strategy before adopting the cloud can help you reduce some of these costs, or at least anticipate them so their impact on your operating budget isn’t a surprise.

Basic steps such as matching your business requirements to what the cloud service provider offers, establishing implementation workloads and task times, and verifying what services the cloud provider manages and what your IT team is responsible for can do a lot to ensure that your cloud costs will stay under control.

2: Verify What is and is NOT Included with Your Cloud Service

Not all cloud providers offer the same services with their clouds. Some commodity cloud providers take important features such as security and treat them as an added cost above and beyond their basic price quote.

Checking with a cloud service provider to see what they actually offer with their basic, out-of-the-box service can save you some nasty surprises later on. In many cases, going with a premium cloud service provider can actually save you money when you factor in all of the services that come standard on such clouds compared to paying separately for each service on a commodity cloud.

3: Triage Your Cloud Usage Needs

While you’re creating a sound cloud strategy, one thing you might want to carefully consider is which workloads, data, and apps you want to place on the cloud, and which ones you should keep on your on-premises infrastructure.

Triaging your cloud usage needs can help you by limiting your cloud workload; which keeps your costs down. Additionally, you may have some workloads that need to be delivered via an on-premises infrastructure for specific regulatory, compliance, or stability reasons.

Trying to put apps tied to legacy infrastructure on the cloud can complicate the deployment, resulting in added consulting, management, and customization-related costs.

4: Try Starting Small with a Limited Deployment

If you’re having trouble establishing a reliable total cost of ownership assessment for your cloud solution, consider starting with a small, limited-scale cloud deployment as a proof of concept for integrating the various security and management needs of the cloud with your organization.

Starting small and building up your cloud environment from there can help ease your company into using the cloud, or at least limit the impact of unexpected costs if they do crop up.

Don’t be taken by surprise by unexpected cloud computing costs that drain your bottom line. Create a sound cloud implementation strategy with the right secure cloud partner now!