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How do you control cloud storage expenses?

Storage in the public cloud generally reduces its costs and resources compared to an internal storage infrastructure. But this option is not as ideal as cloud providers make it out to be. Knowing and understanding the real costs of storage is a headache...

Data is at the heart of digital transformation. Companies use data to improve the customer experience, conquer markets, improve employee performance and more efficient processes... As a result, the volume of data continues to explode. According to IDC, data production will increase from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes (175 billion terabytes) in 2025.

Local or in the cloud? Where to store?

IInvestment in hardware, permanent operational costs, more or less frequent and simple to deploy updates, maintenance team… Internal storage requires a significant budget. In order to reduce costs while increasing efficiency, more and more companies are migrating to the cloud. For the IT department or the IT team, this reduces time-consuming and non-value-added tasks. The cloud allows them to focus on processes that create value.

Storage was one of the first public cloud services to be embraced by enterprises. And this trend is not expected to slow down in the coming years. This activity is expected to grow from $18.87 billion in 2015 to $83.66 billion in 2029, according to research firm Data Bridge Market.

But controlling cloud storage costs isn't easy. First, do not stop at promotional offers from suppliers to estimate the real cost. As soon as we take a close look at this question, we quickly see that comparing prices between services requires method, willpower and patience.

30% of uncontrolled expenses!

As in other areas (notably include Internet access providers, etc.), the providers do nothing to simplify the situation: constantly changing price list, discounts offered on a case-by-case basis, technical terms more or less abstruse… The second factor that blurs this analysis: shadow IT. According to estimates by analyst firm Gartner, approximately 30% of technology spending is made without the approval of the IT department. As a result, companies have tens, hundreds, even thousands of cloud accounts that are not factored into the true cost of outsourced storage. Worse, they do not benefit from the reductions offered according to the volume of storage and/or applications used. Cost control therefore begins with identifying the applications and data of your company that are stored in the cloud (or operating in SaaS mode). Supplier asset management tools (BMC, IBM, Microsoft, Qualys, etc.) make it possible to carry out this inventory, including when they have not had the approval of the DSI or the IT team. Third tip: to understand if the cloud will be interesting from an "economic" point of view, it is important to examine the type of activity and the use of your data and to identify the appropriate level of storage. However, many companies have data scattered all over the place. The fault as we saw at shadow IT. But not only.

Data fragmentation

This is the reverse of multicloud! Convinced of the advantages of the cloud, many organizations decide to migrate their data and their applications to the platforms of different suppliers. The result is massive data fragmentation. According to a Cohesity survey of 900 CIOs (in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, UK and US), the majority of respondents agree that their data is highly fragmented within and between public clouds. Worse, they believe they could become almost unmanageable in the long term. And, is it possible to have an exhaustive vision of the storage costs when we multiply the suppliers excessively? It is impossible, except to call on companies specialized in this problem. There is another negative impact: But this growing proliferation of data spread across a myriad of locations, infrastructure silos, and management systems is preventing organizations from realizing its full value.

Public cloud environments offer great agility, flexibility, and opportunities to accelerate testing and development. But it is absolutely essential for companies to tackle massive data fragmentation (spread across multiple cloud platforms) if they are to realize the expected benefits of the cloud. Given the amount of data that organizations accumulate on a daily basis, it is almost inevitable that, without good management, organizations will lose control of their data and no longer control storage costs in particular…


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