9 ways to spend more on cloud

by Peter Shi

There are hundreds of guides, posts, and articles about how to save on cloud.

But how about the reverse?

How can you spend more on cloud?

A little tongue in cheek sure, but by looking at things the other way around perhaps we’ll discover something new.

Here are 9 ways to spend more on cloud.

1. Let everyone have access to create anything

Cloud is about speed, agility, and innovation. Lets make sure teams can do what they need to do. If that means IT engineers can spin up thousands of dollars per day with a few clicks, then so be it.

Plus it is quite complex to implement cloud spend limits.

2. Leave money management to the Finance team

Finance teams are responsible for cost matters and will shout if there are any cloud cost concerns.

Yes the time to find out about unexpected spend in this way can be 1 to 2 months after it has happened and yes accidental spend can amount to half a million in a week, but Engineering teams are already stretched.

Perhaps costs can be reviewed later if there’s time after delivering to project deadlines.

3. Keep the lights on overnight

The company pays developers and engineers good money so it’s not wise to waste their time.

Keeping development resources on 24-7 means no one will have to wait for resources to spin up. Plus developers who work outside the local time zone need the resources on outside of normal work hours.

Building automation and process to turn off resources is a lot of hassle after all.

4. Migrate to the cloud as fast as possible

Lifting and shifting workloads as-is to the cloud is much quicker, easier, and safer than other options. Plus, there is less chance of getting a call in the middle of the night about some critical application not performing as expected if resource sizes aren’t changed.

Building naming conventions and tying resources to individual employees and departments? That will slow down the migration. Perhaps a challenge for later.

5. Fix application performance issues as fast as possible

Inefficient code that causes application performance problems can often be fixed by increasing the size of the cloud resource.

Spending hours or days debugging and fixing inefficient code doesn’t seem worthwhile. Especially when that time could be spent on building new products, features, responding to change requests, and managing security.

6. Prioritise flexibility

Committing to certain types of spend for 3 years on cloud can deliver 50% to 70% saving vs. on-demand. But in the world of IT, 3 years is a very long time. End-customer demands can change and new cloud offerings will appear.

Adopting limitations of on-premises computing where long-term commitments had to be made feels like a step backwards.

It’s also a lot of work to explain to others how the cloud commitment model works and get financial approval.

7. Assume cloud equals savings

With organisations reporting 25% savings, 75% savings, and even 94% savings (comparing on-premises vs. cloud costs) it’s quite natural to expect cloud to deliver savings.

No one ever says realizing cloud savings is a Shared Responsibility Model just like cloud security. Can cloud really cost more than on-premises hosting?

Cost optimisation can always come later if further savings are needed.

8. Follow cloud policy

Policy may require each production environment to be paired with a development and staging environment to de-risk changes. Policy may prescribe resilience and high availability standards to reduce the customer impact of infrastructure failures.

Deviating from policy is hard and requires many conversations, so even if the policy results in 4x more cost against services that don’t generate revenue – there’s little time to deal with it.

9. Grow the business

Compared to the examples above, spending more on cloud to help grow the business requires less discussion.

Especially if costs scales in-line (or better than) customer volumes and revenue.

Some have been able to handle 10x growth in customer volume during promotional periods with the help of cloud. Extra spend? Worth it.

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So if you’re using cloud to save money then you may want to avoid some of the methods above.

On the other hand, if you’re keen to put a smile on the face of your cloud account manager then the above tips are highly recommended.

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