IT professionals struggling to control costs across complex cloud environments: Aptum study

Today, Toronto-based cloud managed service provider Aptum Technologies released part one of its annual Cloud Impact Study – Clear Skies Ahead: Avoiding Chaos in the Cloud.

Aptum surveyed 400 senior IT professionals from organizations with 250+ employees across the U.S., Canada, and the UK for this study which found that, while nearly all organizations are satisfied with their rates of cloud transformation, challenges surrounding cloud cost optimization and management remain.

More than 90 per respondents are seeing the expected efficiencies of cloud adoption, but they continue to grapple with the costs and complexities of using a combination of legacy systems, private cloud, and public cloud services. 

“As organizations rushed to implement cloud services during the pandemic, many are paying the price for implementing cloud without the benefit of a comprehensive management strategy,” the report read.

As a matter of fact, over 70 per cent stated that cloud costs are higher than expected. Last year, that figure was the same, and only 20 per cent had a comprehensive approach to deal with cloud management and costs. 

Integration processes and a lack of talent are also key challenges, despite which, organizations continue to adopt a hybrid or multi-cloud approach. Over 85 per cent of respondents acknowledged that cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

IT leaders who prioritize security, governance, and data compliance tend to swing towards a private cloud environment, while organizations looking for more flexibility choose public cloud services, as they reduce the need for much on-site capital investment, and they can be rapidly deployed and scaled up or down.

But the efficiencies of multi-cloud environments barely outweigh the costs. In fact, just over half (51 per cent) of respondents said cloud is a key part of their strategy to weather the costs of the ongoing economic downturn. 

Gartner predicts that spending on public cloud technology will increase by just over 20 per cent in 2023 to more than US$591 billion, but the analyst firm urges CIOs and IT leaders to optimize cloud spending to maintain service levels, especially as energy costs and inflation soar.

The study suggests that organizations can overcome challenges related to cloud complexity and out-of-control costs by understanding and optimizing their cloud architectures. 

It recommends the following three actions, in alignment with DevOps and FinOps practices:

  1. Evaluate your existing cloud infrastructure, services and applications, identify areas of inefficiencies, redundancies and misalignment with business objectives.
  2. Establish clear guidelines and policies for cloud resource usage, including budget allocation, cost monitoring, and reporting. Ensure that all stakeholders are aware of these policies and adhere to them.
  3. Utilize cloud-native or third-party tools to automate repetitive tasks, such as provisioning, scaling, and deployment, to identify and remediate inefficiencies, reduce the risk of human error, and streamline management

“Cloud technology continues to enable agility, scalability, cost savings, and remote work – all essential components for business continuity and growth in turbulent times,” said chief executive officer of Aptum, Susan Bowen. “But, if not managed effectively with a holistic approach, the benefits of cloud can be missed.” 

See the full report here (registration required).

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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