Cloud Cost Management: Three Ways to Gain Control Over Cloud Spend
Cloud usage continues to grow as organizations modernize their core applications on the cloud to drive business value. Yet those gains are often countered by runaway cloud costs. A 2023 report from Flexera found that for the first time since tracking cloud management in their annual survey, cloud spend has surpassed security as a top priority.
Here’s the good news. The dynamic nature of the cloud enables you to make changes and see near-instantaneous results from your modifications. So, if you’re overspending on your public cloud bill, there’s plenty of opportunity to course-correct—if you have the right plan in place. To do that, we recommend considering the following cloud cost management strategies:
Build a FinOps Team
In the last few years, adopting a cloud financial operations (FinOps) framework has emerged as an important strategy to gain visibility into cloud spend, empowering organizations to make decisions that will better inform their cost-optimization strategy and make sense of monthly billing. According to a 2023 tech spending survey from Enterprise Strategy Group, 34% of respondents say their organizations are using FinOps extensively, while 31% are using it in a limited fashion. Among their responsibilities, FinOps professionals regularly monitor cloud usage to ensure the organization stays on track with spend. They also work with finance teams to help bridge the gap between finance and IT, which leads to better forecasting of budgets and an understanding of where and how spend is being allocated. If you’re looking to implement FinOps and don’t have these experts on staff, consider working with an MSP that has built a practice around cost optimization.
Focus on Optimized Spend
FinOps professionals play a key role in helping organizations develop a cloud optimization strategy that is tailored to the needs of the business. Building the right strategy, however, should also include input from executives, IT administrators, and internal consumers of your cloud. It’s also important to note that the goal is to optimize spend—which is not always about reducing spend. If done right, cloud infrastructure investments can provide a competitive advantage for organizations or replace traditional infrastructure spending that brings higher overall costs. For example, replacing static, on-premises virtual machines with cloud-native modernized designs, such as serverless or containerized workloads, can help save on infrastructure expenses over the long term, even if causes you to consume more public cloud resources.
Eliminate Cloud Waste
Engineers are notorious for spinning up resources and leaving them running long after they are no longer needed. To combat this challenge, cloud waste must be managed in an automated way. We recommend embedding automated guardrails, such as tagging instances, into the creation process, so you know who created the instance and why. Taking this step will also enable you to tear down resources in development accounts after a short period of time and report on assets that are no longer being used, so they can be pruned.
To learn more about cloud cost management, listen to this Tech Talks Daily Podcast interview with Navisite’s Tom Monk, who talks about the importance of adopting a FinOps framework and the value of integrating DevOps and automation, which contributes to operational efficiency and, by extension, cost savings.