There is little doubt that cloud environments are getting more complex and for most organisations the use of multi-clouds has increased.

The adoption of multiple types of technology, security layers, vendors etc., has added to increasing concerns around costs and the fact that there is a general belief that organisations are spending around 30 percent too much on their usage. And this problem is only likely to get worse.

A recent report by Flexera on the state of the cloud further underpins these concerns by stating, “Managing cloud spend and cloud governance are the top challenges for enterprises” and “The #1 priority in 2019 is cloud cost optimization”.

Another standout comment from the report was, “39 percent of cloud instance spend is on VMs that are running at below 40 percent of CPU and memory utilization, with the majority of those running at under 20 percent” which highlights how just one area is burning through cash.

Finally, the report highlights that, “Within the enterprise, most of the responsibility for governing and optimizing cloud costs is falling on the central cloud team and the infrastructure and operations team, while business units frequently own the cloud budget”.

So how can a manage service provider support the whole issue around usage, costs and the optimisation? Well, the new kids on the block are companies and technology providers that address these issues. I can hear the sighs; another technology solution, more costs, more complexity.

But unfortunately, unless you have the skills in-house you will eventually be using these kinds of service.

For those organisations that outsource their cloud to an MSP, cost optimisation should be one of the first questions that you raise with them.

The best service providers will continually look at how the estates they have installed and manage can be improved, considering issues like idle instances, under-utilized instances, unused accounts, old snapshots etc., to try and drive as much cost optimisation as possible.

Previously, you never needed to consider some of these issues, your hardware, and associated application were operational and did what they did.

Now with so many options available, clients are becoming blind to what can/needs to be done and so have a tendency to ‘leave’ it as it is, compounding any issues and increasing the overall spend, sometimes simply forgetting that they have services running until a bill arrives that is not factored into the budget.

Couple these issues with the ability for any user on your network to spin up machines, rent solutions without the prior knowledge of IT and guess what, you now have some problems you don’t even know you have.

The whole issue around cloud complexity is a particularly difficult situation and for many organisations – it is simply getting out of hand, with every chance it is going to get worse before it gets better, unless steps are taken now to take back control.