Understanding your spend, outside of just cloud, is crucial to the success of your business. While the shift to operational expenses for your infrastructure can help you save where you spent on capital, optimizing your stack for a healhy return on investment remains easier said than done. Often, it’s a lack of visibility on cost drivers that hold businesses back from sustainable innovation and growth.
In order to leverage cloud costs to your advantage, it is important first to understand the cloud adoption process.
Cloud Adoption Steps
Migrate an Existing System
Migration is the process of moving your business’ data and applications from an existing system to a cloud computing environment. While many organizations simply run old IT systems in new environments, incompatibility and inefficiencies can hold back scalability and ask you to overspend where you don’t need to. Redesigning both your systems and the workflows and processes that run within are crucial for a sustainable competitive advantage.
Drive Strategic Objectives
The switch to cloud can do more harm than good if not strategic. Without sound configuration, you will likely experience frustration with both duplication and waste in your environment. Successful technology leaders understand how infrastructure and the people who manage it contribute to the objectives of the organization at large, so that IT supports and drives security and efficiency for the other functions that rely on it.
In this stage, scripts and cases are used to leverage cloud deployment architectures. Cloud computing and adoption standards and guidelines, such as NIST Guidelines and OpenStack standards, are important to understand and adhere to as possible. If you lack internal expertise, fractional or virtual CISOs or CIOs can be leaned on for help navigating the complexity of ever-changing compliance regulations.
The last step in the cloud adoption process is optimization. During this step, it is important to adjust your processes and methods in accordance with your new systems. This will help improve organizational efficiency and performance across the board.
Align Cloud Spending to Business Goals
As of 2022, 60% of corporate data is estimated to be shared on the cloud–and that percentage is predicted to grow. Cloud usage provides many benefits, but it’s important you evaluate your strategy by considering your big picture business objectives and how your consumption fits within and drives them. For example, an organization might not need to keep cloud workspaces running around the clock when employees only work eight hour shifts. And, if your company is considering new technology initiatives, extra cloud spending might be necessary to support digital transformation.
Monitor Your Cloud Consumption to Spend Effectively
In other words, the issue may not be spending more for the cloud, but utilizing the budget more effectively. One way to do this is to monitor how much cloud resources your company is using—both overall and for specific applications. Since cost is directly tied to consumption, monitoring cloud usage is critical. Visibility includes detecting and evaluating unusual spending, projecting future costs based on previous trends, and redirecting spending toward mission-critical applications, while removing apps you no longer use. Cloud service expense management (CSEM) tools are available to monitor and manage your cloud usage, so you can operate knowing your spend is effective—or how to improve it.
Successful cloud strategy and implementation help you direct consumption most impactfully, deliver customer value, enable scalability, and accelerate innovation.
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