Apps & Cloud3 min read

Rising Cloud Costs: Why CIOs Must Play on Both Sides of the Field to Be Successful

Jason Conyard
Rising cloud costs
Cloud Cost Management and Cloud Cost Optimization Concept

It’s a difficult time for businesses and everyone is under pressure to deliver. To keep up with competitors, organizations need to stay on track with their digital initiatives. However, given the global economic crisis we’re currently operating in, budgets are often tighter than ever. These conflicting priorities are forcing business leaders to make some tough decisions.

There’s no single route to getting ahead of the competition. However, in recent years, an increasing number of organizations have started to make the most of the benefits that a multi-cloud approach can offer. Research from our Multi-Cloud Maturity Index Research Report revealed that the vast majority (95%) of surveyed organizations consider multi-cloud architectures to be a crucial aspect of business success.

Despite the initial rewards that businesses are reaping from their multi-cloud setup, it’s not all plain sailing. It’s common for the cost of multi-cloud operations to quickly spiral out of control. In fact, data from the same survey found that over three quarters (76%) of respondents were needing to improve control over their rising cloud costs.

The responsibility to get these costs under control falls to all involved, but CIOs must take the lead. With a storm cloud firmly situated above the global economy, CIOS need to play on both sides of the field. We’ve shared our three top tips below on how CIOs can adopt both offensive and defensive strategies.

1. Maintaining Mobility in Your Cloud Architecture

The value of a multi-cloud strategy is in the flexibility and freedom to access your data from anywhere and at any time. The primary risk in realizing this potential is in commercial and technical lock-in.

If your cloud provider changes their pricing model, are you commercially locked in, or can you seamlessly migrate workloads and applications?

If the next global news headline has you concerned about data privacy and security, does your team have the skills to adopt a new cloud architecture?

By designing and refactoring with mobility in mind, you can easily move applications between clouds without requiring significant changes to the underlying architecture, thus reducing the risk of being contingent on a particular provider.

Maintaining mobility also offers benefits such as empowering developers to choose the right cloud for the right app, leveraging best-in-class AI and ML capabilities for cross-cloud analysis and mitigation, and enabling “anywhere work” for employees all over the world while complying with data sovereignty regulations.

2. Reduce Spending with Improved Visibility

Rising cloud costs can be the Achilles heel of app innovation. While developers drive demand for multi-cloud technology, CIOs are often left to clean up the financial aftermath of successful app launches.

Providing visibility to your application and service owners is the first step to reigning in spend and protecting against ballooning costs.

Think about an apartment complex that includes the cost of utilities as part of the monthly rate. How closely would you monitor your electricity or water usage if you never receive a bill?

With visibility comes accountability and while previously application owners could only optimize for security, scale and availability, today, they can now also optimize for cost.

With cloud management solutions, application owners can share in the responsibility of managing spend by looking for patterns and identifying opportunities to reduce spend. Just last year we filed a patent for an automatic cloud “dimmer switch” that reduces and redeploys cloud resources the moment they are no longer needed. This innovation has not only reduced spend but saved in energy consumption.

3. Streamline Your Systems to Control Rising Cloud Costs

In response to the profound pace of change in the industry, we’re seeing businesses be quick to add powerful technology and services to their portfolios, but much slower to fully cut the legacy systems these new tools were meant to replace. This creates a cumbersome tech web that can frustrate your business and slow down innovation.

Why go to great lengths to attract and hire top talent only to tether them to legacy apps that are no longer fit for purpose? With a simpler landscape, engineers who manage liability and risk are no longer saddled with patching and monitoring a grab-bag of underutilized systems and applications Shed the weight and invest in the future.

When companies take the opportunity to reduce the number of legacy applications and systems, they can not only save money and increase productivity, but reduce their attack surface and risk profile. Agility is key here. To be agile and give developers the environment they need, we must simplify the landscape.

Employing a Multi-Tactic Strategy

For businesses to prosper, they need to make the most of their greatest asset – their employees. It’s important to keep workforces learning and developing by providing them with the right training and cross-skilling. Maintaining a growth mindset across the workforce will enable organizations to stay on top of both the offense and defense. The goal is to continue innovating, while getting rising cloud costs under control. Ultimately, securing your business means embracing a cloud-smart operating model to provide long-term ROI and drive new efficiencies.