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7 Keys to Successful Cloud Spend Optimization during and after COVID-19

Spending on the cloud has accelerated in the first half of 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, organizational spend on public cloud was expected to increase by 17% in 2020 according to Gartner. Recent reports suggest that the pandemic increased cloud spending by 37% in the first quarter alone.

At the same time, the majority of IT departments are adjusting total budget expenditures down as global IT spending is now expected to drop by 8% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.

A recent Forbes article pointed out that while companies increase cloud spend due to COVID-19, one-third of cloud spending is wasted due to lack of policies and lack of optimization. With the surge in cloud spending and call to tighten expenditures, reducing wasteful spending should be top of mind.

Cloud Spend Optimization helps organizations reduce wasted spend and optimize it for their organization’s goals.

Here are 7 keys to implementing a successful cloud spend optimization program in the COVID-19 era.

1. Make it a priority.

Cloud Spend Optimization needs to be a priority. Often as teams complete cloud migrations, they do not put optimization processes into place or it is put on the back burner…until mounting costs loom. If you are looking to optimize your current cloud cost, now is a great time to start. Just make it a priority – no one wants to waste up to one-third of their spending.

2. Understand the cloud environment and business goals.

Get everyone on the same page before getting started. Before diving into optimization strategies and tactics – it’s good to take a step back with your optimization support team as well as the business. This can include interviews across the organization. Make sure to think long term and ensure you build out cost optimization that allows you to achieve business goals at the best possible value.

3. Get quick wins.

You can plug a leaky bucket to stop major sources of leaks. The same is true during cloud spend optimization. Quickly implement a tool to analyze your current cloud usage and waste from your bills and monitoring. These tools will provide the analysis (often within a few weeks) and recommendations on where you can make quick adjustments to save. Implement the findings and monitor the results. Be sure to highlight these successes internally.

4. Utilize best practices – including an architectural review.

Some optimization programs target only three (of 10) possible areas for optimization. You want to be sure to have more than just a tool for monitoring and reports and target all areas for optimization with your people, process, and technology. One great example is reviewing your cloud architecture against best practices so you can ensure the best long term structure.

5. Do deeper analysis.

Understand strategic and tactical opportunities for savings. A great way to do this is by utilizing “What if” scenarios to improve your performance and allows you to have a greater understanding of factors that can both improve or deteriorate performance in your cloud spend optimization program.

6. Be accountable.

Don’t let this become a tool implementation that sends automatic reports. This needs to be a program and you need to be accountable. Set goals and KPI metrics for the program and review them consistently. Ensure you set it up this way to get the best results and ensure it is treated like other programs in the organization.

7. Measure, Measure, Measure.

There’s a saying that “what you measure, you improve”. This holds true in cloud spend optimization as well. Make sure that as you implement your program that you set up the correct dashboarding with interactive capabilities to allow for not only savings generated but also the ability to highlight opportunities and bottlenecks.

Businesses are growing cloud spend dramatically during the fallout from COVID-19. It’s important to put a cloud spend optimization program in place. These 7 keys to successful optimization can help ensure that your cloud costs are not wasted like water falling through a leaky bucket.

Are you optimizing your cloud spend? Let us know what you think.

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