A cloud infrastructure is only as good as its management and review process. Every day more companies are moving their applications to the cloud, hoping to achieve agility, improve efficiency and cut costs. Yet this is only possible when your cloud spend is carefully tracked and managed.  

While companies may recognise the need for a cloud optimisation or review process, they often don’t know where to start. As your cloud environment shifts and grows - spreading ever further across a mix of SaaS apps and private and public infrastructure - your visibility is obscured. The IT environment gradually becomes unrecognisable, making it difficult to know where you should look for answers.

Before companies can get the most out of their cloud, they need to know what success looks like. Your approach should be business need-led: consider why you moved to the cloud in the first place, and what you wanted to achieve, and introduce the tools and processes to assess your IT infrastructure against that on ongoing basis.

If you aren’t realising the full advantages of it the cloud, such as increased efficiency, agility and security, then there are number of areas you should consider:

Measure, then optimise

You need a high-level understanding of your cloud spend and what cloud services are impacting revenue. To allocate your budget effectively, you must understand what individual services are costing you and where they sit within your IT estate.

Once you have this information, you can build a picture of how your cloud usage spend is trending over time and if it meets projections.

Performance checks

It is crucial to monitor the performance of your cloud infrastructure. The speed and efficiency of your cloud servers are key metrics to consider, as well as cost per hour and usage per hour.

You will need insight into each of these across all services and workloads, as not all of them will be used for the same purpose and will probably behave differently. A well-rounded understanding of how all your cloud assets are performing is needed to make the best financial decisions for the business.

Set your standards

We also recommended to look carefully at departmental or cost-centre spend over longer periods of time. You should collect the data showing departmental spend and share it back with teams regularly to drive greater financial awareness and responsibility, introducing practices of ‘showback’, and ‘chargeback’.

From the data collected you can create useful benchmarks. These can be used to entice key stakeholders with evidence of improvement, and form the basis of governance practices for cloud usage across the organisation.

Many IT departments don’t have the tools required to have this organisation-wide visibility of the cloud usage and spend, needed to spot bottlenecks, siloes and wasted spend.

The optimal way forward is to work with an expert partner, such as KCOM, who can manage the cloud optimisation cycle for you. Organisations should seek providers that are certified to work with their cloud platform, with expertise in both tooling and management. Combining the latest tools and expert consultancy, they will help turn your raw data into insight, and your insight into actionable priorities and ongoing best practices.

To unlock your cloud’s potential, read Driving success through cloud optimisation for KCOM’s practical, step-by-step guide on transforming your cloud infrastructure for the better. 

Cloud, Well Architected, Strategic IT, IT infrastructure, AWS