In our last post, we talked about how more organizations are moving to public cloud—and a significant portion of their infrastructure is headed that way, too. Post-migration, however, there’s one consistent issue among organizations’ top cloud concerns: managing cloud costs.
Issues surrounding cost management and budgeting were among the key findings in CloudCheckr’s 2021 Cloud Infrastructure Report. The report, sponsored by CloudCheckr and containing research conducted by Dimensional Research, collected the responses of 304 qualified individuals in IT and business functions from organizations with 500 or more employees. While respondents reported an increase in cloud adoption, they also identified areas of improvement within their current cloud infrastructure.
Cost management among top cloud concerns
Respondents indicated areas they want to improve in 2021. Cost management was among top cloud concerns here, which 63% of respondents selected from a list of potential improvements. Managing cloud costs can be a challenge for organizations, especially if they are used to the upfront costs associated with data centers. Without comprehensive cost management tools in place, organizations may lack key insights into their cloud spend.
Improving cost management was tied for first place with security. As we discussed in the last post, security was a chief concern among organizations surveyed. This barrier is preventing 44% of respondents from a complete cloud migration. Yet cost was also holding organizations back. In the same multiple-selection question, 35% of respondents said that the cost and ROI associated with full cloud adoption didn’t make sense to them.
Unexpected expenses and cost monitoring missteps
One reason for zeroing in on cost improvements is budgeting issues. Planning for cloud expenses has been especially challenging over the past year. Due to the unpredictability of 2020, 55% of survey respondents said that they were hesitant to use last year’s budget as a baseline for planning 2021 cloud expenses. In total, 93% of all respondents said that they’re facing challenges with budgeting this year’s cloud infrastructure costs. Timelines around pandemic-related factors, such as returning to work, have also caused significant uncertainty for nearly half of respondents’ organizations.
Another factor motivating cost improvements is the prevalence of unexpected cloud costs, which 94% of respondents said they have incurred. In a multiple-answer question, respondents attributed these charges to factors such as:
- Lack of right sizing to achieve peak performance (43%)
- Unused instances that were spun up but never turned off (35%)
- Low usage of compute instances (34%)
- Application “lift-and-shift” from on-prem without adjusting architecture for cloud (32%)
- Unattached storage left alive when instances were disabled (31%)
Most respondents are well-aware of these challenges. Yet only 31% said that they’re effectively monitoring and optimizing public cloud costs right now. While most try (just 8% said that they don’t make an effort to monitor or optimize costs), most say that they’re unable to consistently track costs with their current resources.
Perception “clouding” judgment of cost management issues
According to the report, there’s a major disconnect between business functions and IT professionals regarding how well they manage cloud costs. IT professionals’ perception of cost management is less optimistic than that of their counterparts in business roles.
More than half (54%) of non-IT respondents report that they are very confident in the visibility of all aspects of their company’s public cloud costs. Yet just 20% of respondents in IT could say the same. An overwhelming majority (68%) of IT personnel say they are only somewhat confident in their visibility into their organization’s cloud costs.
Native public cloud tools, as well as third-party cloud management solutions, can help organizations manage costs and see the most ROI from their cloud investment. Yet not all cloud decision makers understand the resources at their disposal—including those in their own organizations. We have more on that here. But don’t wait! Download the full report today.
Learn the top cloud concerns and cost challenges
See the 2021 Cloud Infrastructure Report to learn how organizations are managing cloud costs and turning to new resources to address challenges.