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Potential Cloud Customers Laser-Focused on Usage, Cost

By Edward Gately
July 13, 2015 - News
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**Editor's Note: Cloud Cruiser exhibited at last week's AWS Summit. Click here to see our image gallery from the event.**

Tracking usage and reducing costs are top of mind as more companies consider cloud adoption, according to a new Dimensional Research survey of IT professionals.

Software provider Cloud Cruiser announced the results of the survey, which involved 279 IT professionals who attended Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago.

Diane Hagglund, principal with Dimensional Research, tells Channel Partners that IT is positive about the cloud and the business impact of adoption, “but needs help in measuring the results of cloud adoption."

“What surprised us most was the mismatch between the reasons why people are adopting cloud (efficiencies and cost savings) and the lack of tracking metrics to figure out if they’re achieving their stated goals," she said.

Some 92 percent of those surveyed stated that they are pursuing a cloud-adoption strategy with the primary goals of improving IT efficiencies and reducing costs. This applies to all cloud-deployment models, including private, third-party private, public and hybrid.

“With that comes an ecosystem of independent software vendors, resellers and systems integrators that help streamline the enterprise journey to the cloud," said Deirdre Mahon, Cloud Cruiser’s chief marketing officer. “The channel opportunity is to enable enterprise users in not only selecting the right cloud but to also transition the IT function to a service broker model, track usage by business user and deliver faster time to value across hybrid cloud services."

Some 59 percent of respondents said public-cloud users want to understand which cloud is best for a particular workload. Also, 57 percent said improved IT forecasting, or predicting future outcomes, is the No. 1 goal for tracking usage and costs.

“This shows maturity in adoption and is also testament to a hybrid cloud strategy," Mahon said. Improved IT forecasting is now possible with usage metering and analysis, she added.

“Cloud cost tracking is all about metering the actual usage down to granular-level detail, such as ‘Joe used a VM on Azure public cloud for two days at $X per hour,’ where you see the total cost for that service on your monthly bill," Mahon said. “But what if you knew that Joe only needed the VM for a few hours and he mistakenly left it running? That essentially translates to cloud waste and overspending, which can be avoided. Tracking usage on an hourly or daily basis enables full visibility into what is being utilized and how much it costs. Business accountability is key to gaining IT efficiencies."

According to the study, if respondents have access to consumption or cloud-usage information across their entire enterprise, they would like to: compare costs across different cloud service platforms (39 percent), implement showback/chargeback (37 percent), expand on-demand/self-service access to the cloud (34 percent), and better match allocation versus utilization (30 percent).

“A recommended approach is to adopt cloud with a crawl-walk-run strategy and begin with less critical applications and workloads," Mahon said. “However, always track usage and costs to show value back to the business."

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