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8 Steps to Effective Multi-Cloud Cost Management

Written by DEBBIE ZALLER on Nov 28, 2018

Strategic thinking and careful planning can help you squeeze the maximum value out of your multi-cloud environment. Here are eight tips to help you get started.

The financial and productivity benefits associated with embracing a multi-cloud environment are well-known. But multi-cloud infrastructures are complex, with many different providers and service terms. When working with multiple clouds, it's easy to waste money without even realizing it.

Multi-cloud cost management should be a priority from the start. While the cloud itself has relatively low costs initially, moving cloud workloads and dealing with multiple cloud providers can be tricky. Budgeting too severely is not the way to go with multiple clouds either, as vital features like management, monitoring and security should not be sidestepped because of their price tags.

Luckily, there are practical steps that you can take to avoid additional cloud costs. Here are eight ways to ensure that your organization gets the full value from its multi-cloud investment:

1. Investigate all available options

Research is the best and most reliable tool for multi-cloud cost management.

"Businesses need to understand and evaluate their needs and which providers offer the best pricing," said Paul Sussex, a financial services principal at professional services firm Ernst & Young.

It's essential to understand workload demand patterns to arbitrate costs across providers and leverage on-demand services effectively. "In the cloud, elastic storage may be less expensive with one provider than another that might have cheaper CPU pricing," he noted.

It's also important to understand what capabilities, such as third-party services or tools, are needed to accommodate workloads.

"In some cases, it can be more effective to choose a basic infrastructure provider or even keep an existing internal environment," Sussex concluded.

2. Map out your strategy

Careful upfront planning is always necessary for effective multi-cloud cost management. Evaluate all of the available options and pick the one with a cloud-native architecture that's most suitable for the workload, said Mike Fitzgerald, global solutions director at SoftwareOne, a software asset management and cloud optimization software and services provider.

"Evaluate all your on-premises workloads and prioritize and migrate the workloads that are going to get the biggest benefits," he said. Do not blindly lift and shift workloads to the cloud -- some workloads may just have to be retired instead of sent into the cloud. "The planning and the initial assessment will assure that you are cost-optimized from day one," Fitzgerald said.

Data breaches occur often, and organizations that mistakenly place their trust in their cloud providers are often left holding the bag after an attack.

Read all 8 steps at Tech Target




Debbie is Principal and co-owner at Schellman & Company, LLC. She began her career in 2000 while working at Arthur Andersen in their Technology Risk Assurance practice. Debbie now leads the Midwest Region along with the Privacy, SOC 2 and SOC 3 service lines and is also on the AICPA’s SOC Specialist Task Force. She is responsible for internal training, methodology creation, and quality reporting. Debbie was a past member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Board of Governors and served on the Finance and Office Advisory Committee. She also served on the AICPA’s Advanced SOC for Service Organizations Certificate Task Force.