4 Tips for Managing Your Cloud Spend

The dream of moving to the cloud typically involves several financial assumptions. These assumptions will vary based on the workloads that you are moving to the cloud but the story usually goes like this.

Admin: “Hey boss, we should move X & Y applications to the cloud.” 

Boss: “Why”

Admin: “We will save a lot of money and be more efficient, plus speed, agility, and all of the stuff we really need.”

Boss: “Ok, let’s run a Proof of Concept and show me the financial savings.”

Admin (internally): “Uh oh, what now?”

The difference between moving a workload to the cloud and showing the value are two very different issues. As IT shifts from a cost center to a revenue center the necessity to justify spend and optimize resources is growing. So how is that done?

First, understand that it can be complicated to understand your cloud spend. The nature of the cloud is dynamic and can be difficult to track. So, the first step is visibility. You need to understand your costs as well as accurately forecast, drive accountability and establish guidelines for governance.

Here are 4 tips to help you understand and control spend:

  1. Build a budget for each department or application you moved to the cloud. Each department or application has it’s own resource requirements and it’s own costs. Understand the costs associated with each one and divide them up so you can budget accordingly. Use reports that show the individual and consolidated data so you can begin to build forecasts.
  2. Check in regularly with each department or individual that can control cloud spend. This is not a one-time deal. Check in on a regular occasion to make sure they are using the cloud efficiently.  Build in governance policies and reports so you can show them where they are drifting out of their budget.
  3. Automation: Use a cloud management platform to dynamically view your usage data. Many cloud users manually pull data from their cloud accounts and assemble it in an Excel form. Not only can this take hours but the data is old the moment it’s pulled.
  4. Knowledge is power: Understand the pricing structure for the cloud provider you use. There are always ways to optimize the way you utilize an infrastructure to save money. Use your detailed reports and automation to take advantage of these discounted options.

There are several platforms out there that can give you the kind of visibility into your applications and cloud spend. Six Nines uses CloudHealth and their detailed reporting to save customers money. In full disclosure, we are a customer and partner of CloudHealth but that is because they are awesome and their value is evident when we show customers where to save money.

Contact Six Nines today so we can help you with your Cloud Adoption:

  • Special thanks to CloudHealth for providing the documentation and services to make this article possible.

About Author: Dan Stinebaugh

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