How to keep your multi-cloud costs under control

Cloud complexity in terms of costs and transparency

More than half of the CIOs believe that multiple workloads that operate across many cloud services (often enough in complex hybrid cloud environments) can cause creeping costs. Around 50 percent of those surveyed stated that they had a problem with hybrid cloud management. The number of those who think that the environments are becoming more complex is seven times higher than the proportion of those who find the environments easier. The more complexity increases – and the more self-service IT models and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) are used – the more difficult it becomes to maintain the required transparency and control.

This is due to the general lack of transparency in multi-cloud. So it can be difficult to keep an eye on the rising costs when the workloads run on different platforms that are managed by several providers. In addition, controlling invoices with thousands of line items is a serious time challenge for any CIO, especially as they are increasingly becoming a significant part of digital transformation. According to studies by ESG, 52 percent of CIOs believe that using the public cloud has not resulted in them having a better overview or that the overview has deteriorated. Only 48 percent believe that the cloud has had a positive impact.

This leads to situations in which end users start cloud services ad hoc and then run so-called “zombie services” just to produce a specific benefit. Forgotten applications or initiatives that have been started but later abandoned, which are sometimes the result of shadow IT, can now operate additional services, which increases the costs even further. Oversized, underutilized virtual machines will only make the problem worse.

The cloud has become an extremely competitive business and many companies are attracted by strikingly low costs. Only when they are through the agony and cost of migration do they realize that scaling can be expensive and that there are often hidden costs. In addition, Rightscale’s State of the Cloud report for 2019 found that while cloud costs were a huge priority for businesses, many respondents didn’t even do the simplest cost optimization. Many companies hardly use automation to switch off inactive workloads, or fail to make optimal use of the discount options offered by cloud providers. It is significant that respondents estimated the amount of wasted cloud spending at 27 percent, while the study’s authors put the actual wastage at 35 percent.

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