Before the 2010s, companies used their own servers or hard drives to store their applications, databases, and analytics. But with the inception of cloud computing—the on-demand remote availability of computer system resources (e.g., computing power or data storage)—everything has swiftly changed. Now businesses heavily rely on cloud services, and it’s for a good reason.
Research shows that companies will spend 22% more on cloud computing in the following year. This fact is directly related to the workload management flexibility provided. Also, it’s safe, and there’s the option of scaling to fit any business size.
However, this increase in use is accompanied by the growing challenge of balancing benefits against costs. So, keep reading as we’ll present six practical strategies on how to optimize cloud spending.
Strategy No. 1: Opting for Scalable Plans
This is the first strategy to mention because scalability is one of the greatest strengths of cloud technology. Locating and leveraging flexible pricing plans that match business usage patterns is a wise decision. Adopting models like PAYG (pay-as-you-go) where you’re charged based on usage, or scaling services down during off-peak periods can bring about great cost savings.
Strategy No. 2: Establishing Cost Transparency
Another thing you can do is gain full visibility into how and where all the funds are spent. This is about establishing a cost management system. It implies monitoring and managing your cloud resources to reduce expenses and level up returns. The process can include:
- keeping track of cloud resource usage;
- identifying inefficiencies;
- setting smart budgets;
- spotting and implementing cost-effective opportunities.
Tools for that purpose, such as cost management dashboards, abound today. Among the great options to get a bird’s-eye-view of cloud expenditure are nOps, Apptio Cloudability, Spot.io, Harness, etc. It’s advisable to do preliminary research and assess the interface friendliness, overall functionality, and features of different applications to make the best choice.
Strategy No. 3: Optimizing Resource Usage
Correct resource utilization can make a big difference in minimizing cloud spending. There are several ways to do that:
- Right-sizing: This involves matching the cloud services to the actual workload requirements. This suggests selecting the appropriate types of instances or services and their sizes that closely match the demand.
- Investing in reserved instances: This indicates the commitment to using specific services for a long period of time (usually one or three years). In return, the provider gives significant discounts compared to on-demand quotes. The method best fits steady and predictable, long-term workloads.
- Auto-scaling: With this, resources automatically scale up or down based on actual usage. This handles sudden spikes in demand and prevents paying for idle sources during low usage periods.
These are just a few examples. Businesses can also make use of spot instances, load balancing, and identifying unused or underused resources and removing them. Ultimately, the cloud resources they pay for will be employed to their fullest potential.
Strategy No. 4: Implementing a Governance Framework
Establishing a cloud cost governance framework delivers streamlined cost management. This, in turn, can lead to clever budget allocation, thus saving money.
Such a strategy reveals a structured, multi-step approach to controlling cloud spending. In this case, a blend of different policies, procedures, and tools should be adopted. All of this helps better organize cloud resource provisioning and usage. It also sets its alignment with the financial goals and constraints (if any) of the company.
Strategy No. 5: Educating Teams and Fostering Cost-Aware Culture
What follows regarding effective cloud spending is empowering teams with the right knowledge. When they are aware of the financial impact of their cloud usage, it contributes a lot to cost optimization.
Developing a culture of cost awareness and accountability within the organization encourages informed decisions among its members. This results in the responsible and efficient use of cloud resources. And when valuable insights and trends are regularly shared with all stakeholders, it ensures everyone is focused on the cost optimization objective.
Strategy No. 6: Revising and Updating Strategies Regularly
There’s no denying that the cloud landscape is extremely dynamic. What works well today may not be the best approach and even not be a viable option tomorrow. That’s why regular strategy reviews are so beneficial. It’s for saving money by not depleting the budget on what’s already useless.
Occasionally workflow revision allows for timely updates or necessary adjustments to the cloud strategy. Doing so means maintaining the plan in response to both the changing demands of the business and advances in technology.
A Balanced Approach
Mixing several of the discussed strategies is the surefire way for organizations to reap the full spectrum of cloud perks while keeping their spending in check. All in all, balancing operational efficiency and financial prudence is paramount. In this way, cloud infrastructure will support the company’s objectives without turning into a financial burden.