How to Get More Value Out of the Cloud: Advice from a Research Firm 

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We may not technically be in a recession, but nonetheless IT is still – always — being asked to do more with less. Many corporate initiatives are tightening spending amid times of slow economic growth, which means IT leaders are investigating ways to get more value out of existing resources, particularly cloud-based innovation.  

New guidance “How to Make Cloud Use Efficient” published by research firm Nemertes offers tangible advice helping IT leaders do just that. Here’s a look at the highlights. 

Make It Rain: It’s Time to Get More Out of Your Cloud Resources 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications are resources ripe with cloud advantages, but without proper management companies can get upside down with their cloud investments.  

Consider that: 

  • 97% of organizations use SaaS, but only 62% have any defined governance for cloud according to Nemertes  
  • 70% cloud overspending is commonplace according to Gartner 
  • 30-40% of IT spending goes to Shadow IT according to Gartner 

“To manage company resources properly, IT needs to address the increasing number of places and ways in which it can overspend or mis-spend money on all its cloud services,” explained John Burke, CTO at Nemertes. 

Common Ways to Reduce Cloud Waste 

When as much as 29% of cloud resources are either underutilized or unused, cloud optimization becomes a critical belt-tightening move. Here are three common ways to reduce cloud waste. 

  • IaaS: Recapture and reuse orphaned instances or properly decommission them 
  • IaaS: Turn on service pausing features for efficiency and cost savings 
  • SaaS: Reallocate or remove unused application licenses and seats 

Cloud optimization is the process of seeing and understanding how cloud assets are used, so companies can reduce costs and reallocate resources to get more value out of their existing technology investments.  

But cloud optimization isn’t always a walk in the park. Reducing wasteful spending takes human time and attention — that is unless you leverage cloud expense management solutions that help automate cloud optimization. Don’t miss the infographic “Reasons to Explore Cloud Expense Management.” 

Using Cloud Tools to Manage Cloud Costs 

IT needs tools that will let them see what cloud systems are actually in use, gaining visibility into which solutions and cloud service providers are part of the overall service portfolio as well as understanding who uses what resources and how. This goes for sanctioned as well as unsanctioned services and applications. 

Recognizing the current status of cloud assets is the prerequisite to optimization. Are they still in use, growing in importance, fading into disuse, or abandoned? Nemertes equates effective cloud management to your spring garden, weeding out the unused and unneeded, pruning back what is overgrown, and prudently investing in what is needed and used. 

One key requirement for responsible resource management is the ability to attribute resource consumption to specific users, teams, or departments. IT needs also cloud expense management optimization tools that can spot things that are little used, or mis-tagged, and therefore misunderstood or their costs misattributed. 

Cloud cost management solutions include software and services helping to both streamline and automate cloud optimization: 

  • Make cloud waste visible: See cloud applications and services that are unused or under-utilized 
  • Understand cloud usage: See who uses cloud resources and how 
  • Right-size cloud resources: Know where to consolidate, reallocate, and remove resources  
  • Simplify cloud management: Monitor renewals and invoices, reconciling bills against contracts  
  • Accelerate cloud management: Automated workflows are integrated with IT service platforms   
    Check out Tangoe’s Cloud Expense Management platform 

What to Look for in a Cloud Cost Management Provider 

Ready to start optimizing? Nemertes says IT and procurement leaders should seek out cloud software and services that: 

  1. Provide visibility into both sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud use 
  1. Offer deep visibility into usage on IaaS and SaaS platforms 
  1. Map cloud usage information to business units, projects, or people 

Get 9 more things to look for when you download the full report from Nemertes.