The cloud has the potential to reduce costs in a number of ways, but many organizations are allowing poor cost management to eat into those savings, according to research from Softchoice. In fact, 57 percent of survey respondents said their organizations have exceeded their cloud budgets. The right managed services provider (MSP) can help organizations avoid these cost overruns.

Part of the cloud budgeting problem is that organizations often don’t understand the costs before they get started. They might be anxious to adopt a cloud application for certain workloads or a certain project, and that urgent need often pushes strategic planning and cost forecasting to the backburner. Because cloud services are easy to provision and use, there are few if any technical hurdles to adoption.

Another part of the problem is waste. Many cloud resources are provisioned and eventually abandoned and forgotten, but organizations never shut down those services. They continue paying for unused or underused cloud resources and waste a significant portion of their investment. 

Cost overruns and poor resource usage are multiplied when organizations implement multi-cloud strategies. As organizations start using and managing different cloud environments for different workloads, it becomes even more difficult to monitor and control costs. According to the Softchoice survey, 43 percent of IT leaders admit that they’re not sure how to create an effective cloud management strategy.

This can be attributed in large part to a cloud skills gap that costs enterprises around the world more than $258 million each year, according to a separate study from Rackspace. The study found that more than seven in 10 organizations have lost revenue due to a lack of cloud expertise, while 42 percent believe this lack of expertise is causing their organization to fall behind with their cloud deployments. Nearly two-thirds said their organization could be more innovative with the right cloud skills and talent.

An MSP can close that skills gap and help organizations realize the highest possible return on their cloud investments. MSPs know how to plan for the implementation of cloud services, seamlessly migrate workloads to the cloud, and manage those services in a way that allows you to keep a lid on costs. An MSP can remotely monitor your cloud services and continuously assess resource utilization and optimize performance. Many also offer business continuity planning and disaster recovery services to help you minimize downtime.

Cloud environments tend to be more secure than on-premises cloud environments, but shifting workloads to the cloud doesn’t absolve you of all security and compliance responsibilities. An MSP can help you identify vulnerabilities and implement advanced security tools that can be remotely managed. In addition to protecting your data and applications, an MSP can help ensure compliance requirements are being met across cloud environments.

ICG delivers secure, reliable cloud services through our IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) offering so you can focus on running your business instead of managing technology. Built on Microsoft Azure, ICG ITaaS includes hosted servers, desktops, backup storage, along with cloud email and security tools — all managed by our team of experts. Let us help you manage your cloud environments so you can take full advantage of the cloud and keep costs under control.