Cloud spending is outpacing cloud cost governance

Enterprises across the globe dished out a record $107 billion for cloud computing infrastructure services in 2019. This is up 37 percent from the previous year, according to a new report released by analyst firm Canalys.

This is not surprising given that public cloud usage is up. However, at the same time enterprise IT has no idea how much the bills will be, nor how to place guardrails around public cloud spending. The solution is cloud cost governance, which most enterprises are not employing today.

The many cloud cost governance tools on the market run inside of the public clouds themselves, as well as on third-party platforms, both cloud-based and not.

Cost governance technology gives you the ability to solve a few key problems:

  • Proactively understand what your bill will likely be. Cost governance programs monitor usage in real time, and alert you to costs proactively in aggregated reports. This means that you won’t get the unpleasant surprise of a budget-busting set of charges
  • Place restrictions on the use of cloud resources. This includes departmental allocated budgets, meaning that you can block HR from spending more on object storage than their budget allows. Considering the self-provisioning nature of public clouds, many cloud users help themselves, not thinking about the costs. Remember the surprise long distance bills of 30 years ago?
  • Report on and plan for resource usage. Proactively planning your cloud spending means that you can understand what’s being spent and, more importantly, the patterns of spending. You can spot when overages are likely to occur and take corrective action. Moreover, you can do demand planning based on real usage data, not just guesses as to how much to budget for the forthcoming year.
  • Deal with multicloud complexity. If you have plural public clouds, you already know that it’s tough enough to keep track of the spending on one cloud, let alone three. Cost governance tools allow you to aggregate spending controls and reporting across clouds. You also can decide where workloads should be placed based on cost advantages.

I’m often taken aback by the lack of governance of any sort when deploying on public clouds, but the lack of cost governance is truly a huge error. Many enterprises are using spreadsheets or the native cost management features of the single public clouds. If you do, plan on going over budget at some point and dealing with the fallout.

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