What Is Cloud Waste and How Can You Avoid It?

The COVID-19 pandemic caused cloud usage to make up 9.1% of the world’s enterprise IT budget in 2020.

Even before the pandemic, most organizations had migrated to cloud solutions to combat wasteful spending. The cloud both reduces the need for in-house data centers and also allows workers to be more remote. This reduces the bills associated with office space.

But what if the cloud is actually draining your business resources?

If used correctly, the cloud can help you to make the most of your financial resources. But first, you must ensure that your organization does not fall victim to cloud waste.

Here is how you can avoid cloud waste and optimize your business performance.

What is Cloud Waste?

Cloud waste occurs when your organization purchases more cloud resources than it actually needs. It’s the equivalent of turning on every light in your house when only one person is home.

It happens on an individual level when people back up every single piece of data to the cloud instead of filtering through what really needs to be saved.

Many organizations do the same with storing applications or files that are not actually needed. They may also be running software at all hours when that usage isn’t really required.

When migrating to the cloud, organizations often look at their maximum needs rather than the typical needs. This results in overconsumption of resources.

Some cloud waste inevitably occurs under nearly every cloud infrastructure. You can’t be sure you’re consuming the exact amount of your purchase at all times.

However, taking action to minimize cloud waste will significantly improve your bottom line.

Negative Effects

The obvious result of cloud waste is the overspending of business resources. Wasteful spending on cloud capacity that isn’t even needed simply costs your organization more money.

Moving to the cloud is typically done to save money, but when done poorly it can have the opposite effect. A company’s cloud waste can have impacts beyond the organization’s financial resources, however.

Cloud infrastructure has the potential to reduce our impact on the environment as well. This makes the impact of cloud waste even more costly. A significant amount of energy is used to power and cool cloud data centers.

We’re not doing the environment any favors by overconsuming. Aside from energy resources, more e-waste is created by running IT infrastructure when it is not necessary.

With climate change at the forefront of everyone’s mind, committing to environmentally friendly practices will not go unnoticed by your customers either.

Aside from environmental impacts, organizations that provide cloud services are also surprisingly harmed as well. Cloud waste requires them to build more data centers than they need, hurting their bottom line.

Causes of Cloud Waste

Clearly, cloud waste harms organizations and the environment. This impacts us all. Learning how to avoid it starts with determining the root causes.

One of the basic causes is a lack of understanding. Cloud resources are seen as the more efficient solution, so it doesn’t even occur to some people that there may be a need to conserve resources.

This misunderstanding often comes from organizations are migrating away from having their own data centers. If their own data center ran 24/7, they may not realize that some of their operations do not need to run around the clock.

For instance, an application may have production and test versions running in the cloud. Will employees be accessing the test version in the middle of the night? It is unlikely.

Another reason that cloud waste is so rampant is that organizations often plan for maximum use rather than their typical use. Some may also not differentiate between static use and dynamic use, causing a larger purchase than necessary.

Resolving Cloud Waste

The first step in resolving an organization’s cloud waste issue is setting the right culture. Realizing there is a problem, developing a plan, and communicating it within the organization is crucial.

Once everyone is on the same page about working on waste management, you’ll need to set goals and track the progress towards those goals.

Completing a detailed audit must be part of the plan. An auditor or an organization’s own team can complete the audit. This will give your organization a better idea of cloud usage and spending.

Organizations must also work towards better estimating capacity based on completed audits. Start with accommodating the minimum level of usage.

As your usage needs continue to grow, you can then gradually add resources. This will prevent you from overspending on too many resources and then later determining the usage needs are not actually there.

Continuing to monitor usage is critical to identifying additional waste. It can be time-consuming and complicated to monitor, but the software is available for public cloud optimization. This frees up your team for more critical tasks.

Audits and software for cloud optimization may come with a cost, but they will help you save money in the long term.

Get the Most Out of Your Business Resources

Remote work for employees is the way of the future. Additionally, cloud services are improving every day. With that, cloud growth will also continue.

You can optimize all of the benefits of the cloud by monitoring spending and addressing any waste. Combating cloud waste isn’t the only way to make the most out of your business resources, however.

Be sure to check out our other tech and business articles. We’ll keep you up to date on all of the best ways to keep your organization on top!

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