Stephen Pettitt, Sales Director at M247, explores why cloud waste is becoming an increasing problem.
The rise of cloud adoption amongst UK businesses has seen a meteoric uptake in recent years. The acceleration of digital transformation, sparked in large part by the pandemic and a need to ‘move online’ to accommodate remote and hybrid working, has meant more businesses than ever are now adopting the cloud into their arsenal.
It’s no surprise, then, that recent research found that up to 94% of UK businesses have already adopted the cloud in some shape or form. However, while the benefits and possibilities of cloud-powered services to businesses are undeniable – from accessibility to enhanced collaboration – there is a risk that some could be biting off more than they can chew when it comes to their cloud suite.
‘Cloud wastage’, also known as cloud resource or cost wastage, is a growing concern. It refers to the inefficient and unnecessary allocation of cloud computing resources, which often results in unexpected expenses and a diminished return on invested.
It’s estimated that a third of businesses’ annual IT budgets are wasted on underutilised services. And with IT budgets facing increased scrutiny this year due to soaring inflation, some business leaders are left considering if they even need the cloud at all, or if they would be better off repatriating their data back to on-premise solutions.
However, while reverting – or repatriating – from the cloud back to on-prem infrastructure might seem like the best solution for those not getting the most out of their cloud set-up, this ‘fight or flight’ response can end up causing more problems in the long-run.
How, and why, are some businesses wasting the potential of the cloud?
As we saw at the height of the pandemic, businesses were forced into lightning-fast cloud migration with little time to focus on ensuring the overarching strategy for migrating to the cloud-powered services. As a result, some businesses experienced issues and inefficiencies with auto-scaling, security, and storage management facilities, resulting in them paying for services they didn’t need, or paying individual cloud providers to manage the complexity on their behalf.
The knowledge gap on cloud and which tools and platforms work best for different businesses, paired with technical challenges such as siloed systems and a shortage of digital skills within an organisation, are just some of the reasons why businesses are underutilising – or overusing – the cloud.
Despite businesses across the UK being in the midst of a digital transformation, many continue to rely on outdated legacy systems which are hampering their ability to capitalise on the cloud. Legacy systems often use outdated programming languages or utilise architecture that is incompatible with modern cloud environments, leading to complex and costly migration processes, and ultimately an under-utilised cloud set-up.
How can businesses stay ‘lean’ when it comes to the cloud?
So, how do business leaders avoid cloud wastage? And how can they get the best out of their suite of cloud products and services in order to maximise efficiencies and remain agile in today’s turbulent economic climate? One option is to adopt a multi-cloud approach.
A multi-cloud approach involves using a multitude of cloud services and applications from a variety of providers in order to run business applications by following a clear cloud strategy to pick the best technology that fits the needs of the specific business. A multi-cloud set-up, or environment, will typically include a combination of two or more public and/or private clouds, as well as a hybrid combination of both public and private, depending on the organisation.
This multi-cloud approach allows businesses to cherry pick the cloud applications and services they need from numerous vendors on the market and, if the strategy is well-implemented, diversify their cloud presence.
By not ‘putting all of their eggs in one basket’ by locking themselves to solely one cloud-based application suite, businesses can optimise costs, performance, and risk management.
A multi-cloud strategy allows businesses an opportunity to assess which aspects of their cloud-powered technologies are being underutilised, and if necessary, shake off the excess in order to adopt a leaner approach to the cloud. One of the cloud’s biggest selling points is the unmatched flexibility as businesses to scale up, or scale down, their cloud-applications at a moment’s notice to meet changing workloads and keep costs efficient.
This ‘cloud elasticity’ can ultimately help businesses avoid any cloud wastage, but there is support out there to ensure that the migration process runs smoothly. By enlisting the support of dedicated cloud service providers to guide and monitor your cloud strategy, this will equip IT decision makers with flexible and reliable resources that can not only cope with day-to-day business demands but also support a business’s wider digital transformation strategy.
Cloud wastage doesn’t need to be the killing blow for your aspirations for cloud adoption. In order to get the best out of this game-changing technology, a clear and concise cloud strategy is vital to remain lean in the cloud and avoid any unnecessary expense down the line. With a strong multi-cloud strategy implemented to pick the most suitable cloud-powered tech for your specific needs, as well as enlisting the support of a trusted vendor for handling the migration and integration to the cloud, cloud wastage can be avoided. This frees businesses to embrace a world of possibilities through the cloud and remain lean in today’s digital-first business landscape.