Posted on July 27, 2016 by Tadd Axon
As unfortunate as it is, it’s pretty common to go over your mobile phone voice and data limits. What do most of us do? We pay the bill – regardless of the overcharges. Some of us change to a more appropriate plan or start monitoring data consumption to avoid hefty surcharges.
These are common sense strategies for battling out-of-control phone bills — right-sizing your plan and gaining insight and control.
These are also exactly the strategies needed for proper Azure financial management.
There is a lot on the line for businesses pursuing a public or hybrid cloud strategy.
According to Softchoice’s own data, we’ve found that clients are overspending by 270% on their Azure consumption costs, versus what they initially expected in their Microsoft Enterprise Agreement contract. Poll results from our most recent webinar confirm that up to 75% of participants do not even know if they are over/under budget. It’s a small sample but it’s reasonable to believe enterprises everywhere struggle with the similar issues.
Now, issues such as right-sizing, configuration and ownership are not limited to building in the cloud. These are age-old problems that affect businesses building on-premise solutions.
But there is a key difference between managing in the cloud and on-premise — immediacy.
With the cloud, problems are visible immediately and often related to operational costs. That’s not the case with on-premise: if you didn’t buy enough servers for your in-house data center, you will have to find a significant budget most likely in the near future. With the cloud, if you start consuming more on Azure cloud services, you will get the immediate bandwidth, but also have to pay for it. Today.
A properly governed Azure infrastructure will not cost more than it needs to and will provide your business with a flexible cloud strategy that pays off the way you expected.
Importantly, the IT department and CIO need to appreciate this cannot be done alone. This conversation demands the participation of the lines of business using cloud services — understanding who, how and when they are using it — and the financial department to align on ownership and planning.
To learn more about good Azure governance, we recommend you download our new guide (gated form).
Getting a full understanding of your Azure consumption and putting in place the right processes to control it will take some work.
To start, businesses need to determine their current state. Find out what is running, how much of it is being used. Who owns what?
Once that is done, you will need to work alongside the lines of business and finance to determine which stakeholders are accountable for costs, and then who is responsible for provisioning services (it doesn’t always have to be IT.)
There are additional considerations to make which are crucial but often complex: addressing the sensitivity of the data, and any regulatory or compliance requirements involved with the data in the cloud.
While this is certainly a time-consuming process, can have significant returns to your business. For example, Softchoice uses our Cloud Tech Check to routinely find our Azure clients 50% or more in savings, just by optimizing their investments.
While a few bullet points in a blog post may not be enough to guide you on your path to better managing your Azure financial governance, we have far more resources available to help you along. Visit our Azure hub for information on our automated sizing tools, and our proprietary Azure Dashboard for management.
To learn more about all these services or to get in touch, visit our Azure hub today.
This blog post summarizes content that originally appeared in a live Softchoice webinar.