By Tanya Seda, Chief Strategy Officer
For an ever-increasing number of companies, migrating networks and applications to the cloud have been a great business decision. The challenge is keeping the cost of that cloud environment under control while leveraging the benefits. This is turning out to be more difficult than expected so businesses are starting to take a deeper look at where their money is going.
Whether you are launching an internal cloud spend optimization initiative or are engaging an expert partner to do an audit and optimization, there are 4 core best practice categories that are of considerable benefit to any company:
An enterprise must understand its cloud ecosystem in its entirety before it can be controlled. This is done through transparency and visibility. Most providers today have some sort of usage optimization platform that offers tools designed to monitor cloud usage and they generally do a good job.
Some Telecom Expense Management providers (like us at Network Control) go a step further by offering comprehensive cloud benchmarking and audit services. These often enable a more detailed level of spend tracking and behavior metrics. In our case this includes capturing all cloud instances across all environments, providing the core data necessary to optimize costs, as well as creating a critical accountability mechanism. The enterprise can then track cloud usage back to specific users, teams, departments, or projects, thereby creating an accurate calculation of total cost of ownership (TCO). This, in turn, enables better business decisions.
Having visibility to cloud usage and spending is one thing; making sense of reports and creating action plans requires a much greater level of understanding and expertise. This is where the many enterprise internal cloud spend optimization efforts sputter and stall. Optimization also includes effective forecasting and strategic planning to take advantage of tiered cloud pricing. Critically, it requires an understanding of how the elasticity of various workloads and cloud providers relate to their defined infrastructure requirements. This means a more balanced approach weighing the benefits of cloud against those of existing private infrastructure.
Controls must strike a balance, providing a check on the creation of unnecessary or redundant cloud instances, without impeding the innovation, agility, and growth of the business. Those tasked with creating CTO policy must have a clear understanding of regulatory and compliance requirements, cloud security best practices, procurement, and contractual considerations, accounts payable, and more. Navigating this complexity presents another major barrier to many internal CTO efforts and this is where we are plugged in.
IT professionals will find that executing a point solution for the CSO is achievable in most cases. But the cloud landscape evolves on a minute-by-minute basis in business today and that optimized operation is quickly replaced by new waste and new sub-optimal usage. We see this a lot through the monthly management from our cloud audit tools. It’s important to follow if the promise of the cloud is instant scalability, then effective oversight and governance must also be instant. As mentioned, this requires a level of vigilance and dedication of resources that most IT teams are unable to achieve. This is where our SaaS tool is integrated for best practice is to monitor cloud usage in real-time, establish a design process that controls and addresses issues daily and conduct optimization workflows on a weekly basis.
With the help of experts like Network Control, businesses are leveraging these new best practices to realize the full potential of their cloud computing strategy. Implementing a great policy and controls can help control unchecked cloud expansion and wasted spending. Also, you receive real-time transparency into cloud utilization can both optimize existing cloud usage and strategically plan for the future.
Last note, with the proper IT management and expertise necessary to stay ahead of the game, real-time CSO effort, businesses can gain the flexibility and scalability to drive innovation and growth without losing control of costs.