The cloud is now an incredibly popular option for organizations looking to utilize the services cloud storage has to offer. However, this doesn’t mean that cloud is the cheapest option for most. In fact, many businesses have found themselves locked into complicated pricing models with cloud providers, not quite realizing the extent that this costs the business. Despite all the benefits of cloud for your business, in this article we are reviewing what the real costs of cloud may be and how this can be overcome with cloud cost optimization tools. 

The true costs of cloud for businesses 

The big three cloud providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. All of which offer a range of services and tools for businesses looking to utilize the cloud.

For the majority of small businesses it appears that AWS is one of the most popular cloud storage providers (when referring to small businesses, this is typically those with less than 1000 employees). Others will use platforms one of the big three or a smaller alternative platform. 

Below is an example of the pricing model for access to AWS: 

Much like the majority of cloud providers, AWS offers a pay-as-you-go approach, which for the most part offers organizations a number of great benefits. Including the ability to be flexible with their usage. This would be similar to that of other business expenses like utility rates. 

This all sounds great to the typical business owner, so where do the problems occur? 

The challenge of managing your cloud costs 

Despite all the benefits that cloud providers and their pricing models can offer businesses, many still face the challenge of cost management. Which is the reason so often organizations find themselves overpaying for their usages of the cloud. 

Organizations can soon overspend in the cloud due to a lack of visibility and often understanding of how to manage and track usage and the inevitable costs that come with this. 

Often a lack of resources also means that teams within the organization are not equipped to prevent the over-use of cloud resources and the shutdown of idle workloads that will be charged for. On top of this, with little understanding of a cloud provider’s pricing model, some organizations, particularly smaller businesses with limited resources, will be stricken by hidden cloud expenses that will not be realized from the offset. 

Hidden cloud expenses your organization may not be aware of: 

  • Cost per hour 
  • Data access and transfer fees
  • Costs for additional analytics
  • Cancellation costs 
  • Costs for compliance resources 
  • Overall unmanaged spending on cloud services 

Tools for cloud cost optimization

The good news is that businesses of any size can now use cloud optimization tools to help manage and control the costs associated with their usage of the cloud. These tools are designed to provide an organization with visibility of its cloud usage, payments and manual charges so it can  better manage and optimize its cloud spending. 

How do cloud optimization tools work?

Cloud optimization tools will provide an organization with a clear view of its cloud usage and bills, allowing it to keep track of all associated costs. Using automation, the tool can help identify redundant expenses, unrecognized charges, as well as any manual changes that have been made. This way organizations can save money by only paying for what they need and not for wasted

In conclusion, the cloud is a great tool for businesses to utilize, however, it is important to understand what the true costs of the cloud may be before making the switch. With visibility of your payments and manual charges through a cloud optimization tool you can ensure that you are paying only for what you need and prevent any hidden costs from arising.  By doing this, you maximize the benefits of cloud computing while ensuring that your business is saving as much money as possible.