The unknown number

Public cloud may be famously ubiquitous and flexible, but it’s also becoming well known for unexpected costs and budget overruns.

18 May 2022

Muggie van Staden, Obsidian Systems. Photo: Karolina Komendera

The public cloud is still defined by the key words of ubiquity, flexibility, scalability and agility. Gartner believes that it’s set to become the centrepiece of digital experiences, and Forrester says public cloud is driving enterprise digital transformation. However, both believe that costs are an issue. Gartner says 60% of infrastructure and operations leaders will likely experience public cloud cost overruns that will affect their on-prem budgets, and Forrester believes there remains ‘tremendous confusion’ around how to manage cloud costs properly.

In a recent report titled ‘Understanding public cloud pricing strategies to save money today and tomorrow’, Forrester highlights issues around billing comprehension as being central to rising cloud costs. The key factors contributing to this lack of comprehension, in spite of line item visibility into spend, are: inconsistent pricing strategies between cloud providers; difficulty in managing pricing structures; different workloads demanding different cost strategies and approaches; and increasingly convoluted pricing structures that have evolved to meet equally convoluted customer requirements.

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