While embarking on cloud initiatives can bring about many benefits in terms of agility, innovation and digital transformation, keeping an eye on costs is never far from cloud teams' minds. And rightly so, as spiralling costs can create difficulty when making the case for continued investment in cloud computing at a board level.
One of the benefits of multi cloud is that organisations can cherry pick from different cloud vendors, paying only for what they use and avoiding vendor lock-in.
However, complex cloud environments can make keeping track of costs more problematic, and organisations risk overprovisioning if they are not managing their cloud architecture correctly. Having workloads running across multiple cloud services can lead to creeping costs, and vendor-specific payment structures can make handling bills a challenge. This ties into an overall lack of visibility over multi cloud.
Computing's research, conducted in partnership with VMware, reveals cost concerns loom large among respondents. 41 per cent of survey respondents identified high costs as the biggest cloud management challenge their organisation is facing, with 57 per cent agreeing that hidden costs are an issue.
Cost reductions also featured heavily in what organisations want to gain from unified cloud management, with 43 per cent choosing cost optimising as the main advantage of adopting this model.
When asked to describe what an ideal cloud operating model would look like for their organisation, one respondent answered "Clear charging of cloud costs to individual line-of-business while retaining the advantages of bulk purchase" and another said "seamless and cost-effective".
Deploying tools that improve visibility of workloads, services and finances across multiple cloud vendors can help organisations keep on top of costs. Cloud monitoring and cost optimisation tools, some of which can work across multiple cloud vendors, are a way to do this.
A single point of operations spanning multiple clouds offers vital visibility and control of an entire IT environment, giving a better idea of how resources are being utilised. This can help lower waste and improve efficiencies.
By adopting a cloud operating model, organisations can simplify their cloud management, while also setting out a clear strategy for controlling expenditure can help organisations discover hidden costs within their cloud and also plan for future spending as they scale up.
It is also important that cloud teams keep decision-makers in the loop when it comes to cloud costs, as migration projects may come with high up-front fees and a long timeframe for return on investment, so it is important to manage expectations.
Furthermore, it is important that organisations carry out a thorough audit before applications are moved to the cloud in order to iron out inefficiencies and ensure that they are not paying to move and manage tools or applications that are no longer needed, are duplicated or could be run more efficiently in a different environment.
With the right multi cloud strategy, organisations can achieve greater efficiencies and more business opportunities which can lead to significant cost savings in the long-term and a return on investment.
To find out more about achieving multi cloud success, read the full Computing report
This post is sponsored by VMware