At its core, optimizing cloud operations is learning how your cloud resources are utilized, then getting rid of any waste. The better you understand how cloud services drive your business’s revenue and growth, the better you can right-size the amount you spend on each feature.
Managed cloud services means having a third-party expert on operating in the cloud guide or help guide a company’s cloud use. This is one way to gain complete knowledge about how cloud services function within your business, without making any more work for your IT department.
Managed Cloud Services are rapidly becoming the industry norm for not only enterprise level companies, but for small and medium sized businesses (SMB) too. In fact, a study found that the number of SMB that use the cloud increased from 38% in 2021 to 53% in 2022. With this ever-increasing importance of the cloud for all businesses, optimizing cloud operations is all the more critical.
In this article we’ll explore a cloud cost optimization roadmap to learn more about:
- Increasing cloud visibility to better see how business operations function in the cloud
- Determining which cloud features are most important for achieving business goals
- Deciding how to best allocate cloud resources to achieve high priority goals
- Implementing cloud cost optimization best practices
How Do I Optimize My Cloud for Visibility?
As more and more companies move into the cloud, keeping track of exactly what is being housed where and how it all works together is increasingly important. This becomes even more true if some data and programs are housed in the cloud while others remain on-premises, or if a business expands onto multiple cloud platforms.
Following these three strategic approaches to cloud operations can greatly improve visibility:
- Inventory – Discover and record exactly what is hosted on each cloud server.
- One source of truth – Create one overall system for overseeing and monitoring cloud use.
- Automation – Use automation to get important alerts and reports on cloud usage.
How Do You Optimize Cloud Infrastructure?
Cloud infrastructure includes everything a company needs to work within the cloud. It encompasses both software and hardware, things like servers, storage, and abstracted and network resources. An important step in meeting cloud optimization goals is to understand what parts of the infrastructure is being used most, especially for mission-critical tasks.
Once a clear picture of which cloud resources are being used for which purposes, the components that are unnecessary or underused can be identified. These unneeded elements can then be reduced or removed all together, resulting in cost savings and cloud optimization.
How Do I Reduce My Cloud Costs?
The best way to reduce cloud costs is to stop spending money on things that aren’t critical for business goals. A significant part of this includes knowing what you’re paying for and what you’re using it for. It’s estimated that small-to-medium sized businesses spend over $1.2 billion on their cloud operations annually, so looking for savings in an area that can be a big part of the budget is especially important for a business’s financial health.
Important things to consider when looking for cloud cost savings:
- Overprovisioning – Having more cloud resources than needed for current demand
- Overconsumption – Forgetting to shut down cloud-based platforms that are not being used
- Unclear budgeting – Lacking transparency about how much each department or platform contributes to overall cloud spend
- Unused features – Paying for cloud attributes that are not being used
- Out of date features – Using older versions of features that need updating for optimization
- Untiered storage – Storing all data in resource heavy format, instead of optimizing based on availability and performance needs
- Inelastic cloud usage – Underutilizing the cloud’s ability to scale up and down based on business needs. A resource optimization algorithm in cloud computing is a way to address this problem.
- Unnegotiated contracts – Not prioritizing cloud vendor negotiations, especially if cloud migration is happening more slowly than expected and a company is paying for more than they can use
- Underused Cloud – Slowing down migration to the cloud can mean a business is paying for cloud use and on-premises data storage, increasing costs for no added value.
Why Is Cloud Cost Optimization Important?
Optimizing cloud spending matters to businesses because of the effects it has on an overall company budget, growth, and key performance indicators. And it matters to many businesses: more than 40% reported worrying about significant cloud cost overruns.
InterVision can help alleviate these cost overruns. We’ve seen many of our customers realize an almost instant return on their investment in cloud optimization. We also help you build a practical strategy for long-term cost savings on your cloud spend. This has the additional benefit of offloading complicated cost management jobs from your IT staff, so they have more time to focus on business-critical tasks.
With our Cloud Cost Optimization Dashboard, you get:
- A simple interface to monitor cloud costs
- Overviews of usage, costs, and savings, with daily and monthly breakdowns
- Summary of active commitments with usage amounts, start, and end dates
- Views of reserved instance coverage that allows for easier waste identification
- Cost breakdown tracked by service, operating system, location, and instance
- Invoice support through billing data
Knowledge is power
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