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Aptum study: 62% of organisations lack cloud cost expertise

According to a study by Aptum, a lack of effective cloud management continues to drive significant waste of IT resources.

Aptum, a global provider of managed, advisory and consulting services, has released part two of its annual Cloud Impact Study 2023, Maximising Value: Controlling Costs and Optimising Cloud Spend. 

According to the study, 71% of IT professionals surveyed stated that cloud-related costs comprise 30% or more of their total IT spending.

The study involved 400 senior IT professionals from organisations with 250+ employees across the U.S., Canada, and the UK. It explores cloud cost management trends and how they have evolved.

In today's challenging economic climate, organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the financial implications of their business operations. While the cloud has brought benefits such as flexibility, scalability, agility, and cost efficiency to organisations in recent years, there are still unforeseen costs. 

Over half (52%) of IT professionals admitted their organisations had wasted significant IT spending due to inefficiencies with cloud platforms and services.   

73% of IT respondents reported that their cloud investment has resulted in higher-than-expected IT costs within the last 12 months, marking a 28% increase compared to 2021 figures. 

Additionally, most (92%) of IT professionals stated that they are likely to conduct a total ROI (return-on-investment) analysis of cloud spending, a rise from 89% in 2022. 

To decipher what is causing these increased costs, the survey identified several factors. These include poor planning, a lack of internal expertise, the acceleration of cloud adoption, and a lack of familiarity with complex cloud solutions. 

When organisations implement a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy incorporating both on-premises and public cloud services for different data services and workloads, these challenges are magnified. 

Currently, 62% of respondents agree that lacking internal expertise has prevented them from expediting cloud implementations. However, to mitigate these escalating costs, Aptum insists that developing skills and knowledge in cloud strategy is crucial.    

Ian Rae, CEO and President at Aptum, says: "Many organisations believe they are excelling in the cloud, but in reality, like flying in a cloud, they have to rely on instrumentation, which is usually inadequate, to begin with, and piloting experience which takes time to develop."

"It isn't the costly cloud but the lack of observability and governance which hinder management and lead to cost overruns. This shortfall significantly hampers the ability to unlock the cloud's potential for enhancing operational efficiency while controlling costs."    

The results demonstrate that organisations struggle to fully realise the value of their cloud spending as they expand their adoption of cloud services. The lack of a comprehensive, multi-cloud strategy poses a challenge for many IT leaders, preventing them from fully harnessing the transformative capabilities of the cloud.   

However, continued cost savings rely on a clear cloud investment strategy focusing on visibility and control of costs, especially for those accelerating cloud investment and moving into more complex, multi, and hybrid cloud environments.

Aptum underscores the FinOps principles vital in ensuring organisations operate efficiently in the cloud: cost visibility and accountability, optimised resource usage, enhanced decision-making and forecasting, cultural change, and continuous improvement. 

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