Cloud Costs, Consumption Still Unclear to Businesses

While public cloud usage is growing, specifically for business applications, many IT organizations remain in the dark about how to allocate cloud costs and consumption back to the business.

This was among the findings of a Dimensional Research survey of nearly 350 IT professionals, which was sponsored by hybrid cloud analytics software specialist Cloud Cruiser.

The study found that 85 percent of respondents believe it is valuable to share cloud consumption metrics with the business, but 42 percent continue to find it difficult to properly allocate public cloud usage and costs.

“There are three major potential stumbling blocks for businesses when it comes to cloud technology,” Andrew Atkinson, senior director of product marketing at Cloud Cruiser, told eWEEK. “The first, albeit fading, is the perception of security risk. Most industry analysts agree that public cloud platforms are at least as secure, if not more so, than the typical corporate datacenter, so this former boulder in the way of adoption has been reduced down to pebble size.”

Atkinson explained a second stumbling block can be the effort involved in shifting workloads and applications that are currently running in the data center to the cloud.

Here, he said there are a number of excellent tools available to simplify the process and many new applications are actually beginning their lives in the cloud.

“The third, and perhaps trickiest, stumbling block is gaining the financial and operational transparency needed to make people accountable for using cloud resources effectively, wherever in the organization they are,” he said.  “IT will be reluctant to leverage cloud–and finance will be hesitant to fund it–if you cannot easily identify who is using how much of what, and the cost to the business.”

According to the survey findings, almost all participants stated public cloud cost and consumption information should be shared with the business.

However, more than half do not provide that data to business users today and nearly half of IT teams indicated that gathering consumption information is challenging.

“While it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future, as noted by both Yogi Berra and Niels Bohr, we do expect cloud adoption to accelerate, especially as the solutions supporting the business get better, easier to use, and more widely-distributed,” Atkinson said. “Cloud is a critical contributor to business agility, which is an ever-more-important survival skill in today’s hyper-competitive environment.”