Juggling the many moving parts of cloud can be especially difficult for SMEs with small IT teams. For example, simply determining the most cost-effective solution amongst the countless vendors, services, and payment models available is a challenge. Cloud computing offers many benefits to SMEs, but the difficulties involved in choosing, managing and optimizing cloud services can be a barrier to adoption.
Purchasing with the business in mind
Cloud offers potential cost savings to SMEs, but businesses need to ensure value for money when choosing cloud services. The two most popular ways to adopt cloud are paying for subscriptions ‘upfront’ or a pay-per-use option, but neither model is without risk.
Subscription services could incur unnecessary expenditure when service consumption goes unmonitored, as organizations pay for services they no longer use. On the other hand, the danger with pay-per-use is that budgets can be consumed very quickly if consumption outstrips forecasts.
It’s important to align cloud purchasing decisions with key business objectives – whether that includes reducing costs, increasing flexibility, or a mixture of both. If decisions are not made with these objectives in mind, SMEs may end up with similar services across several cloud providers. IT managers can avoid this by carrying out shadow IT assessments and identifying cloud services in use that have been purchased outside of the IT department's control.
Ultimately, full visibility of all services currently in use by employees is paramount when trying to manage cloud costs and security vulnerabilities.