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The simple fix so your cloud costs don’t spin out of control

Gartner predicts that by 2020 organizations that lack cloud cost management processes will on average overspend by 40 percent on the public cloud. It’s like letting your home utility costs get way out of control because there is no monitoring of usage nor efforts to conserve: You’ve kept your AC at 65 degrees during the summer and at 75 degrees during the winter. Eventually the bills come due—and they are big ones.

Most people in IT consider cloud computing services to be almost free, so they do very little to deal with ongoing cloud cost management or usage monitoring. That is, until they get that $300,000 bill.

What’s changed since those first cloud deployments is that enterprises have gone from 5 percent of the workloads and databases running in the public cloud to about 30 percent by 2019. With the increased load on the public clouds comes increased usage billing, so it’s not unusual that enterprises get bills that are 30 to 40 percent higher than they expected or budgeted for.

There is an easy fix, and it’s called cloud cost management or cloud usage management. It comprises the processes, approaches, and tools that let you keep cost in check—and, most important, keep those costs predictable.

These are cloud cost governance tools to monitor usage and the associated costs. They do so by workload, by user, by department, or byany other way you want to slice it. These tools not only let you see who’s using what and when, and how much it costs, but do chargebacks and showbacks to make sure that the right budgets are funding the cloud usage.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this technology is that you can set predetermined limits. This includes setting usage parameters such as not provisioning the most expensive instances of storage all the time and making sure that budget restrictions are adhered to.

Ironically, even enterprises that are the most controlling when it comes to costs tend to think of cloud costs as something that’s unknown and so just accept whatever rolls in. No one knows what the bill will be, nor expects to.

Those days are over, and if you’re not engaged in cloud cost governance now, you need to be. Those big cloud bills won’t pay themselves.

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