3 Key Threats to Cloud Cost Management
6 min

3 Key Threats to Cloud Cost Management

Hidden costs may catch you by surprise—no matter how well you have your cloud costs covered, there are three common threats that can still infiltrate your environment.

The global "Cloud Cost Management and Optimization Market" is expected to experience significant growth from 2023 to 2029. The cloud's inherent scalability and flexibility have revolutionized how we operate, but with these benefits come potential pitfalls in the form of escalating costs. By actively managing cloud expenses, organizations can ensure financial sustainability, avoid unexpected budget overruns, and optimize their cloud resources.

In this article, we explore how to identify and manage the hidden costs of cloud computing. Focusing on three major causes of unexpected cloud costs, we discuss some solutions and strategies that can help you stay on top of your cloud spend.

The Cloud: Virtue or Vice?

Virtue, vice, or just a victim of its own success? Take a step back to consider that just a short time ago, many organizations were still leery of moving their data to the cloud and the associated potential risk. It took years of successful migrations and evolving security, paired with the flexibility and agility that only the cloud can offer, for it to gain our trust and be the cost-effective, powerful alternative to on-premises IT that it is today.

Today, the benefits of cloud are readily embraced, and many businesses would not exist without it. The pitfall, again, is that cloud cost management can quickly become a headache. This is partly due to its success and wide adoption. As organizations modernize and inevitably migrate more of their infrastructure across multiple clouds, the more difficult it becomes to manage cloud sprawl and spot the anomalies.

Many factors can contribute to cost escalations in the public cloud, but predicting and identifying anomalies in your cloud environments faster is crucial for effective cloud cost management. Cloud cost anomalies refer to unusual and unexpected fluctuations in the expenses incurred by utilizing cloud services. These anomalies can manifest in various ways, such as sudden spikes in usage or costs, unusually high charges for specific services, or discrepancies between projected and actual expenditures.

Today, the cloud is a business imperative, so there’s no escaping this challenge. The good news is that there are now tools that can help you optimize your cloud cost management. 

The Big 3

No matter how well you set up your cloud infrastructure, right-size your virtual machines, optimize unused/idle services, or even train your staff, it still may not be enough to protect you from cloud sticker-shock. Here are the three key threats that contribute to unexpected cloud costs.

  1. Code anomalies – Runaway code queries, rogue processes, and development bugs can consume compute resources without anyone knowing. Identifying these anomalies can be like finding a needle in a haystack, and they can remain undetected if you don’t have comprehensive visibility.
  2. Human error – A spike in cloud spend may also occur due to human error. Whether it’s a mistake in the code, or simply because someone forgot to turn a program off and it runs for a month in the background—human error is hard to account for without the right tools in place.
  3. Malicious actors – The third most common cause of unexpected cloud costs is an unsavory one. There’s always the risk of malicious actors or malicious code triggering activity out of view. And cybersecurity threats only continue to become more sophisticated.

Until recent years, the only way to discover these anomalies was when your bill arrived, but that’s not the case anymore.

Comprehensive Cloud Cost Management

To detect and address cloud cost anomalies effectively, organizations should employ robust monitoring and management tools. Cloud cost management platforms and services offer real-time insights into usage patterns, provide cost allocation reports, and can set up alerts for abnormal spending behavior. Regular reviews and optimization of cloud resources, along with the implementation of best practices, can help prevent cost anomalies and maintain better control over cloud expenditure.

CDW Built Inscape is one such cloud and SaaS management platform that offers a comprehensive suite of tools to make managing every aspect your multicloud environment easier than ever, including cloud cost management. Where cloud costs are concerned, two primary Inscape features work together to effectively stave off cost creep.

Inscape Anomaly monitors activity across your systems, detecting and reporting any anomalies that result in the most common hidden costs of cloud computing. Anomalies are flagged so you can stop them from spiraling out of control before you receive the bill. Inscape Anomaly provides you an X-ray view to monitor everything that contributes to Azure cloud cost management. Using machine learning algorithms, Inscape Anomaly alerts you of any cost anomalies by monitoring your Azure consumption patterns on a daily basis.

Inscape Multicloud Cost Management & Visibility gives you a financial snapshot of all cloud spend across your Microsoft tech stack. With just a couple of clicks, you can see how much you are spending in Microsoft 365, Azure, Azure reservation, and more. Quickly and easily monitor costs, spot trends, create and manage budgets and customize alerts to gain clarity over your cloud spend, not just across your Microsoft environment, but your multicloud environment comprehensively, all from a single platform.

Gartner’s Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms includes CDW’s Inscape platform as a notable office productivity governance tool. With its cost and cloud management suite, Inscape gives customers the information they need to make better decisions and the tools to implement those decisions quickly. It is all encompassing, enabling clients to discover, manage, govern, report, optimize, adopt, train, and procure the most popular cloud and SaaS applications to better manage their business.

Experience and Expertise in Everything

The additional value add you get with Inscape is CDW’s unmatched depth and breadth of experience with the top three public cloud providers: AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. With over 30 years of experience with all critical data center technologies, CDW’s cloud team empowers your organization to adopt cloud-native best practices that help you cut costs and innovate faster. Our team includes hundreds of certified technical specialists — including two of the world's 20 Google Cloud Fellows — who can work with you to advise, plan, implement and manage your unique and critical hybrid IT environment.  The deep relationships we have with our multicloud partners also provides us unfettered access to technical specialists who write the code as well as insight into all of the latest technological advances. From cloud migration to modernization, CDW has the skills and experience to guide you. From cloud migration to modernization, CDW has the skills and experience to guide you.

Story by Chris Pyle CDW Expert

Chris Pyle

CDW Expert
Chris is currently part of the CDW Built leadership team focused on developing the world’s best and most comprehensive cloud and SaaS management platform—Inscape. Inscape is an all-encompassing cloud business platform of service offerings to help clients discover, manage, govern, report, optimize, adopt, train and procure the most popular cloud and SaaS applications.  Chris comes to CDW as part