Cloud bill managementPart of the cloud’s blessing and curse is your monthly cloud bill. It can either be amazingly cheap, or amazingly expensive. For most organizations, it’s hard to truly take advantage of the efficiency of cloud if they don’t know what their bill will be from month to month. According to Rightscale’s State of the Cloud report for 2017, the most cited challenge among mature cloud users was managing cloud costs. So what can you do to control this?

The right provider matters

It boils back down to finding the right cloud service provider. Should you choose to manage your cloud yourself, you’ll want a solid internal support team and be prepared to pay extra for external support. If you choose a managed service provider, look for one who can provide direct support and expertise when it comes time to analyze your bill.

In the case of hybrid cloud, we’re talking about multiple clouds and potential multiple providers, what with combining your public cloud services with either a private cloud or legacy IT solution. For this, a cloud aggregator may prove helpful. Remember, a cloud aggregator is someone who negotiates and distributes cloud services from vendors in an effort to be as cost effective as possible. This may include offering the aggregator’s own services as a cloud provider.

If those services are combined into a single bill, it’s easier to view and reach out to a single support team if you have trouble understanding your charges. While the public cloud vendors offer support for their services, even the billing for that support can get complex–who is using which support team, how often, and for how long? A managed cloud provider can include support with the cost of the cloud package, thereby giving you the talent you need at a lower cost. Too often, organizations moving to the cloud or already using it suffer from a lack of talent in all aspects of the cloud, and this includes billing management.

Control your cloud bill

The first step to managing your cloud bill is understanding it. This is easier said than done, of course. But if you work with a managed cloud provider, they can offer the expertise you need in order to understand your bill. Rather than struggling to find and hire specialized cloud support talent yourself to manage your costs, you could turn to a managed cloud provider to handle it for you. They can help you find any inefficiencies or just measure your usage from month to month so you can compile it into a report. Keeping track of your usage and any unexpected spikes leads to better control of your costs and cloud sprawl.

Why is that important? Cloud sprawl, where companies lose track of which cloud resources are being used and where, can lead to many problems and is important to contain for several reasons: When you don’t know what services your employees are using, it not only presents security and compliance issues, but you’ll mostly likely suffer from sticker shock when you get your monthly bill. That’s something we want to avoid at all costs (no pun intended).  So, knowing what your monthly cloud bill truly is instead of haphazardly guessing goes a long way towards not only helping you control your bottom line, but protect the security and integrity of your organization’s data.

Next steps

The cloud has really matured to encourage enterprise adoption, but the key now is doing so wisely. It’s very easy for your public cloud spend to catch you by surprise, so the sooner you can take control of your bill, the less you pay in the long run.

If you’re ready to take back control of your cloud bill, contact us now. If you’re still researching the hybrid cloud, our blog post on the three benefits of a hybrid cloud can help. Or, read our guide to public vs. private cloud computing.