By migrating to the cloud and using advanced cloud technologies to streamline their workflows, companies can be more flexible, respond faster to changing customer demand and make cloud transformations cost efficient for running business-critical infrastructure.

But companies cannot take the cost benefits of the cloud for granted. Migrating to a flexible and advanced cloud platform provides access to capabilities that companies would have a very hard time building on-premise.

The other side of this equation is that cloud business models are generally driven by consumption levels. If companies run cloud workloads in the same way as they used their on-premise infrastructure, they’re unlikely to achieve the best possible balance, flexibility, performance and cost.

To achieve the maximum return on cloud investment requires careful planning and oversight. Without proper management, cloud features such flexible licensing or workload scalability, which are otherwise beneficial and help improve efficiency, may also lead to unmanaged costs.

Seven ways to optimize cloud costs

In a recent IDC survey of business leaders, more than a third of respondents identified concerns over cost transparency as the biggest hurdle to adopting the cloud at scale [1]. Yet the same research found that a quarter of all companies that migrated to the cloud reduced their costs as a result [1].

Clearly, with the right approach, companies can simultaneously use the cloud to expand their IT and infrastructure performance while reducing IT expenditure. The key is to have the right strategy and access to the right skills and technology.

Here are Cloudreach’s top tips for cloud cost optimization:

  1. Promote a culture of accountability: Make it clear that your cloud policy is not “switch on and forget.” Cost centers must justify cloud expenses with reference to measurable outcomes and business benefits.
  2. Actively manage your cloud for efficiency: Avoid common problems such as orphaned virtual machines, underutilized instances, etc. that result in cloud waste. Use your cloud provider’s cost management and optimization services to provide visibility and transparency.
  3. Use dynamic provisioning effectively: Don’t oversize your capabilities. This approach is a throwback to data center ways of working. With scalability on demand, extra capacity is unnecessary and a drag on cost efficiency.
  4. Optimize licensing and billing: Understand the triggers for more resources to come online. Work with your provider to optimize this to your budget and goals — and use your cloud provider’s tools to continually monitor resource usage.
  5. Ensure pricing transparency: Pricing and discount options can change frequently — and so can your needs. Work with your cloud provider to ensure transparency. With the right relationship, you can optimize your contract for maximum cost efficiency.
  6. Master reporting and analytics: Use cloud analytics to track everything from utilization to licensing and continually optimize for cost and performance. Understanding historical performance can help optimize cost for the long term.
  7. Use tagging and other resource management techniques: Tagging is the practice of appending metadata to each cloud resource to help streamline automation and operations, enhancing visibility when aggregating resources, resulting in efficient cost management.

Next steps

The best way to achieve the optimal balance of cloud cost and performance is to collaborate with your cloud provider and a proven cloud services partner, each able to understand your technology needs and business goals – and then tailor their services accordingly.

The right cloud partners will give you not just the infrastructure you need to meet your business goals, but also the tools you need to maintain complete transparency, enhanced visibility and control of your costs.


Cloudreach, an Atos company, is a market-leading cloud-services company. Contact Cloudreach today, to find out how you can turbo charge your organization’s cloud transformation to achieve maximum return on investment, in the shortest possible time, and move onto a cycle of continual optimization and improvement.

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