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More organizations than ever are employing multiple cloud service providers, but with the addition of each cloud platform, concerns about cost appear to correspondingly increase. A survey of 350 IT leaders in the U.S. and United Kingdom conducted by Virtana, a provider of a platform for managing cloud computing environments, finds 83 percent are using one cloud service provider, with 44 percent using three or more. The most widely used cloud platforms are Amazon Web Services (57 percent), followed by Google Cloud Platform (54 percent) and Microsoft Azure (53 percent).

Cloud management opportunities are plentiful for MSPs

Overall, 45 percent are now running more than half their workloads in the cloud, with 33 percent running more than half their workloads in a private cloud.

Well over half (54 percent) are managing more than eight cloud instances, with 22 percent managing 11 or more instances, the survey finds.

Not surprisingly, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents admit they have difficulty getting a global view of utilization and spending across a hybrid/multi-cloud infrastructure, with 44 percent concerned about keeping rising costs under control. Only 17 percent, however, are tracking costs daily.

A full 87 percent of acknowledge they are chronically overprovisioned or under provisioned, with 40 percent challenged with staying optimized or rightsized on an ongoing basis.

Only 44 percent are consolidating multi-cloud cost information, with two-thirds of those respondents doing that work manually. Less than one-quarter (24 percent) have a mature, effective FinOps practice in place.

It’s clear there is plenty of opportunity for MSPs to add value when it comes to managing cloud computing environments. In fact, 59 percent of respondents report they will be migrating additional workloads to the cloud. A total of 62 percent will also be migrating existing cloud workloads to a private cloud.

Percentage of IT budgets consumed by cloud services rising sharply

As the cost of IT becomes a bigger concern, there will naturally be a lot more focus on how clouds are managed. With more workloads being deployed in the cloud, the percentage of the IT budget being consumed by cloud services is rising sharply. Just about every organization has been surprised at least once by an unexpected rise in their monthly bill for cloud services. The reason for this is that most cloud computing instances are provisioned by developers that don’t pay much attention to costs. Cloud computing from their perspective is roughly the equivalent of an open bar at a wedding.

Unfortunately, not many organizations, as of yet, are relying on MSPs to manage their cloud computing environments. However, as the cost of cloud computing becomes a bigger concern there is a clear opportunity emerging for MSPs to at the very least provide their financial expertise.

Lack of internal expertise creates opening for external resources

In fact, it’s only a matter of time before more organizations determine that they simply don’t have the expertise required to effectively manage a multi-cloud computing environment that is growing more complex with each passing day. In addition to running legacy monolithic applications on virtual machines, many of those organizations are also now building and deploying cloud-native applications that run on Kubernetes clusters and serverless computing frameworks. The level of expertise required to manage those applications is significantly higher so it’s inevitable organizations will need to rely more on external expertise.

The challenge, of course, is convincing the leaders of an organization they need that help. The simplest way to start that conversation is, of course, a sympathetic offer to help reduce the size of a monthly cloud computing bill that seem to only grow larger with each passing month.

Photo: atk work / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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