But this post (at least this portion of it) is not about Fortnite, it’s about my electric bill. More particularly, it’s about not knowing what the tally is going to be until I actually look at it. Like all of us, the amount I pay the electric company varies from month to month. In some ways, what I pay depends on predictable variables, such as the weather. In extreme seasons I pay more than other times of the year when I don’t need to cool or heat my home.
But that’s the basics. As my family has grown (four kids, two dogs and a goldfish – which has lived a shockingly long time) controlling my electric bill has become more complex. Unexpected “spikes” in electricity resulting from things like, let’s say, my daughter having strung holiday lights in the garage and then leaving them on for several days (just an example) can have a disproportionate effect on the final total.
Not withstanding a bit of family dysfunction, the challenge is that the electricity bill doesn’t let me know how much these illicit incidents specifically cost. Nor does the electric company actually help me control these costs. I can’t be everywhere all the time. I seem doomed to waste electricity and then, of course, money…It’s a bit frustrating.
In many ways, for a number of organizations, this scenario –this level of frustration – plays out every day in how they manage the cloud.
According to recent article in Forbes, 30% of cloud spending is wasted. That is a staggering number and if you then consider the $175 billion in estimated cloud consumption the implication is a bit mind-numbing.
Naturally the real question is – how does this happen? Believe it or not, the cause is a bit like my electric bill; lack of awareness and control. Instead of a bundle of holiday lights being left on, there is an “instance” or “workload” that is left running. Indeed, the major causes of wasted cloud spend are unused instances, sub-optimal pricing and poor planning. Under scoring this point is that nearly 60% of cloud leaders identify cloud optimization as their top priority and 1 in 3 IT managers do not believe they have the tools to properly gain visibility and control of the cloud.
At Insight we are working with our clients to solve the challenges faced with cloud waste. In many cases, the first and best step is to perform a Cloud Economic Assessment. Through this engagement, our Cloud Economic team deploys a monitoring platform that establishes a comprehensive “snapshot”of our client’s environment; providing the data and insights necessary to remediate wasted spend.
When performing the Cloud Economic Assessment, we typically utilize the Movere platform. There are a couple of important benefits to this decision. First, is that our standard assessment pulls forward insight from a number of environmental factors. Beyond the core value of discovering and evaluating the current state of your cloud environment, the report also highlights specific security and compliance risks. Secondly, Microsoft has a number of programs that can fund the Cloud Economic Assessment. In the end, providing our customers with a tremendously valuable deliverable without any impact to their budget.
Beyond the Cloud Assessment is the reality that cloud optimization is not a one-time event. The truth is that we can take a snapshot of any cloud environment and then make the right decisions to optimize spending but if we then move on without developing any real controls we are likely to end-up in the same place within a matter of months. To this point, according to Gartner,the number one best practice for Azure cost optimization is to plan for the effort to be an ongoing process.
Providing an ongoing level of cloud management has become a core Insight offering; today we manage the cloud environment for hundreds of thousands of subscriptions and thousands of tenants. As with any strong service our ability to provide high-impact value is based on our investment in people, process and technology.
As a cloud manager, we work with our clients to methodically manage and optimize their cloud consumption. The process is straight forward. After reviewing the Cloud Economic Assessment, we develop a road map with our client; helping to identify areas of opportunity to reduce cost, increase production and create greater ROI. From there we establish performance milestones, thresholds and alert levels to protect from future “bad behavior”.
In conjunction with this effort, we deploy our monitoring platform allowing us to provide near-time evaluation, alerting and remediation in our new role as a cloud management partner. Finally, we schedule routine health-checks; providing us and our client with the rhythm and rigor to ensure ongoing performance.
Getting the most of your Cloud Investment is not always about the technology itself. In many cases, such as optimizing the economics of Cloud consumption it’s about developing the right infrastructure and in some cases partnerships to succeed. If done right, it’s an effort that easily pays for itself.
Now to get my electric bill under control.