Navigating Rising Costs Through Intelligent Cloud Strategies

Organizational leaders seek smarter cloud strategies amidst complex macroeconomic environment. Learn cost optimization techniques and enhance cloud efficiency.

Nitin Garg, VP of Practice Delivery

March 25, 2024

4 Min Read
pink and purple clouds with birds flying
Buiten-Beeld via Alamy Stock

It is the start of the month, and the CFO just got another higher cloud bill. Again -- as many times before -- it reached the highest level exceeding the forecasted budget. 

Sounds familiar? 

Every organization has a similar story. Cloud costs are increasing because organizations often fail in optimizing their cloud infrastructure and end up spending extra on cloud services. According to a McKinsey Report, cloud spend is growing 20% to 30% annually. 

With the macroeconomic environment becoming increasingly complex, organizational leaders, CIOs, CFOs, and CTOs are looking for smarter cloud strategies to optimize their cloud costs. Let’s explore eight cloud strategies to navigate higher cloud cost cycles without compromising security and performance. 

1. Embrace the multi-cloud approach 

Instead of putting all eggs in one basket, diversifying cloud infrastructure by incorporating a multi-cloud hybrid approach can save costs. Distributing workloads across cloud providers allows organizations to benefit from competitive pricing and feature sets offered by different providers. Thus, embracing a multi-cloud approach can lower cloud costs while delivering flexibility, resilience, and mitigating vendor lock-in. 

2. Optimize resource allocation 

Optimizing resource allocation is one of the key principles of adopting smarter cloud strategies. This involves right sizing your infrastructure to match the organization’s actual usage needs. Conduct regular audits to identify unutilized resources and decommission them to eliminate unnecessary costs. Additionally, leverage the tools and services offered by cloud providers to optimize infrastructure and ensure efficient use of compute, storage, and network resources. 

Related:7 Security Trends to Watch Heading into 2024

3. Implement cost monitoring and governance  

It is quite challenging to control costs effectively without proper visibility into cloud spending. Implementing robust cost monitoring and governance practices allows organizations to track spending across various cloud services and identify cost drivers. However, organizations can also use cloud-native tools to gain visibility into their spending, enforce cost policies, and optimize resource utilization.  

4. Utilize reserved instances and savings plans  

Most cloud providers offer discounts such as reserved instances (RIs) and savings plans to help reduce cloud spendings. Organizations can evaluate their workload patterns and commit to RIs or savings plans for predictable workloads with steady usage patterns without sacrificing performance and scalability.  

Related:Quick Study: Optimizing Cloud Spending

  • RIs are ideal for stable and predictable workloads. Organizations can save up to an advertised 75% compared to on-demand pricing for stable and predictable workloads.  

  • Savings plans offer more flexibility than RIs and are measured per hour regardless of instance type or region. Savings plans make sense for organizations whose cloud spending demand changes likely. 

5. Embrace serverless architecture  

Adopting serverless architecture is a strategic approach for better efficiency and scalability in today’s IT infrastructure. With serverless architecture, organizations need to pay only for the compute resources consumed during the execution of functions or applications, eliminating the need to provision and manage servers continuously. Organizations can adopt serverless technologies like AWS Lambda or Azure Functions to optimize costs, improve scalability, and simplify the development process. 

6. Choose a better cloud service provider  

Cloud service providers typically charge higher costs for data migration across different regions and locations or applications within their cloud ecosystem. Most cloud service providers have high base product pricing, egress pricing, and additional pricing for add-ons like support. Thus, organizations can look for a better cloud service provider based on their needs and demands by evaluating cloud service plans and prices. However, organizations can also use optimization strategies such as data compression, caching, and content delivery networks to reduce data transfer volumes and can significantly reduce associated costs with cloud data transfer. 

Related:How AI is Transforming Cloud Computing

7. Implement cloud cost management tools 

Management tools are crucial for organizations aiming to optimize and maximize their spending for cloud investment. Management tools such as AWS Cost Explorer, Flexera One, etc. provide insights and analytics such as cost visualization, anomaly detection, cost allocation tagging, and recommendations to identify cost-saving opportunities and streamline cost management processes. However, organizations need to evaluate different tools based on specific requirements for enhanced cost visibility and control. 

8. Continuous optimization and iteration 

Continuous optimization and iteration serve as a great roadmap for long-term success in cloud cost management. Organizations need to foster a culture of continual improvement, vigilant monitoring, analysis, and adaptation to changing business needs. Organizations can also empower teams to identify and implement cost-saving measures and integrate the latest technology to refine their existing solutions. Thus, organizations can respond to rising cloud costs and proactively shape an environment that thrives on efficiency, adaptability, and sustained cost-effectiveness. 

Navigating cloud cost is an essential part of cloud operations management. When using the cloud at scale, it’s likely that organizations steadily accumulate redundant, outsized, and misconfigured resources that add to the cloud cost without providing any value to organization. As organizations evolve, continuous optimization and a commitment to smarter cloud practices establish a foundation for resilience, agility, and sustainability in the ever-changing digital landscape. 

About the Author(s)

Nitin Garg

VP of Practice Delivery, AgreeYa Solutions

Nitin Garg is currently the VP of Practice Delivery at AgreeYa Solutions. He has over 17 years of experience in business growth strategies, technology-enabled business transformation services and customer experience solutions. Serving Fortune 500 customers like Morgan Stanley, PayPal and CVS Health, his role at AgreeYa involves driving growth through solution design, sales, competency development, innovation, and delivery oversight across the globe. He holds a master’s degree in computer applications from IIT Cochin, India and is pursuing PG in Digital Transformation from Purdue University, US.

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