Understanding Multi-cloud Cloud Cost Management Challenges

Among the many challenges associated with a multi-cloud environment is the challenge of managing cloud costs. Managing cloud costs is more than just dissecting hundreds of lines in a cloud invoice.  

It’s also about dealing with other factors that influence the uncontrolled proliferation of cloud costs. Let’s explore two main challenges that hinder a successful cost optimization strategy and what can be done to revamp cost saving practices for the multi-cloud. 

Varying billing models across multi-cloud platforms  

Every cloud platform has its own billing system set in place in addition to varying and oftentimes complex pricing structures. These differences across platforms can make it difficult for a billing manager to consolidate multiple cloud bills and control cloud costs.  

Without any tools, managing costs in a multi-cloud can certainly feel like a full-time job for an IT manager and the billing or accounting team.  

For this reason, businesses should consider deploying a third-party multi-cloud management platform to assist with cost management.  

A multi-cloud management platform consolidates all cloud costs into a unified view in the form of a single dashboard, allowing IT managers to monitor and control their cloud costs in one central location.  

Depending on the multi-cloud management platform, users can also implement tagging across cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud to manage cloud resources more easily and also identify and turn off idle instances, which helps reduce cloud costs. 

It’s important to note that the end goal of a multi-cloud management platform is to simply monitor and control cloud computing resources across multiple environments.  

To really capitalize on cloud cost savings, businesses can add cloud cost optimization software.  

Autonomous provisioning of cloud resources 

In today’s age of the cloud and rising cloud investments, cloud services can easily be provisioned by anyone in an organization, including those outside of the IT department.  

As a result, finance and business teams can function independently of the IT department and make high-level decisions related to the cloud, including spending. When individuals and different departments purchase cloud resources independently, you end up with decentralized IT spending. 

Decentralized IT or cloud spending does not necessarily mean that you let individuals and business units purchase whatever they want whenever they want, nor is decentralized IT spending always a bad thing for business.  

The concern with a decentralized structure is that it puts more purchasing power in the hands of business units, which could lead to less oversight on cloud costs and unexpected costs and higher cloud spending. 

Autonomous purchasing power of cloud resources — when combined with the challenge of varying billing models across cloud platforms in a multi-cloud — often results in uncontrolled costs.  

Therefore, spend optimization for a multi-cloud environment will have to take a different approach, such as re-thinking the way cloud spending is handled across individuals, departments, and business units in a given organization. 

Incorporating third-party cloud cost management tools 

As mentioned, all the major public cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud provide their own native tools to manage cloud costs.  

When organizations operate across multiple cloud platforms, it’s much more beneficial to use third-party tools for multi-cloud cost management that can do a better job at managing cloud costs than native cloud tools. 

Businesses can refer to Gartner’s “Evaluation Criteria for Cloud Management Platforms and Tools,” which provide technical professionals with a comprehensive assessment of some of the most popular cloud management platforms and tools. 

Gartner analysts highly recommend management platforms that are able to provide high quality insights through analytical reporting. They also advocate for tools that have higher feature parity between cloud platforms.  

But most of all, Gartner analysts recommend the following approach: use the native tools of cloud platforms first and then use third-party tools where they are functional gaps.  

There is still much more to be explored within the cloud cost optimization market. More and more tools, for example, are using AI and other technologies to provide advanced cost intelligence. 

Conclusion 

Cloud cost optimization will keep evolving along with the current cloud trends. 

Take for example how applications are rarely moving seamlessly between different cloud providers. An organization using multiple clouds might require applications to be built around containers and microservices and multi-cloud management tools.  

Because these tools themselves are evolving, the need for cloud cost optimization will undoubtedly play a role in an organization’s evaluation of management platforms. 

Contact Grumatic today so you set up your next multi-cloud cost optimization strategy. 

 

 
 

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