Why are your cloud costs soaring despite free cost review tools?

July 1, 2019

Why are your cloud costs soaring despite free cost review tools?

Struggling to control your cloud usage costs even though you use free monitoring tools?
In the past 3 years, cloud operation costs have shot up by 85%. While IT spending is projected to grow on cloud services, IT managers today need to constantly evaluate the total cost of ownership for success by gaining a highly granular view of cloud activity.
Organizations shift to the cloud for quick and easy resource provisioning. Instead of spending days or weeks purchasing and configuring hardware, operating systems, and business applications, being able to create a functionally identical set of virtual resources on the cloud in a single afternoon seemed like a game-changer for long-term growth.
However, there is a dark side to this unprecedented level of convenience that the cloud offers: cloud platforms make it easy to create resources, but it’s up to you to ensure that they’re being utilized optimally.
Effective cost control is an important yet frequently overlooked step in the digital transformation process. Carefully planning the post-live phase for new technology initiatives improves margins and keeps you ahead of competitors that are also transitioning to cloud services.

What free cloud review tools don’t offer

Since most cloud resources are metered, i.e. are billed based on uptime, throughput, and other measures of usage, the minimization of idling cloud assets can result in major cost savings.
Most cloud platforms provide cost calculators, monitors, and advisor applications that help you identify underused resources that you can scale down or deallocate to save money. Some of these tools are free and should definitely be leveraged to keep costs in check at a basic level. However, they do have some limitations that you should keep in mind.
To drive maximum returns on your investment in the cloud, you need a more effective approach to cater to your needs fully, or you’ll find yourself hobbled by cost leakages.
The following shortcomings of your free cloud optimization tool may sound familiar:

  1. Lack of support for custom tags for effective cost analysis of cloud SKUs and breakdown of costs by project, department, etc.
  2. Lack of support for budgets using tags
  3. Limited information on cost variance for every week or on a broader trend-line
  4. No easy way to highlight outliers for immediate control and optimization
  5. No support for granular-level cloud SKUs

Most IT departments’ resources are spread too thin prioritizing shorter time to market, flexibility, and uptime to afford to manually track complex cloud service consumption trends across multiple projects, departments, and applications. Companies embarking on the digital transformation journey require an objective evaluation of actual resource utilization to be able to size the environment cost-effectively.
To focus on important IT service KPIs, your IT department needs a powerful, easy-to-use, and an intelligent cost review tool that offers:

  • A cost breakdown of top cost-consuming services (storage, virtual machines, security center, bandwidth etc.)
  • A weekly dashboard to analyze how your cloud consumption relates to your workloads and projects
  • A way to quickly identify top cost-consuming services over a broader timeframe
  • The ability to manage your cloud spend better by setting a monthly budget and tracking consumption, balance, and overspend in advance.
  • The ability to identify underutilized resources at a glance
  • A mechanism for detecting outliers and changes in cost composition
  • An intuitive user portal that:
    • facilitates online sizing and cost assessment
    • helps you budgets at the department or project level
    • provides
      • a billing history and summary
      • notifications and alerts for cost spikes
      • live consumption tracking
      • two-way communication for improved response

Evaluating the need for a cloud consumption review tool varies from business to business and requires a detailed assessment of existing workloads to gauge a fair return on investment. Talk to our cloud service experts to learn what a priority IT initiative is for your organization.