Rushed multi-cloud deployments and a lack of relevant expertise are compounding the impact of rising cloud costs for businesses, according to new research from Aptum.
In a survey of senior IT professionals, 70% of respondents revealed that cloud-related costs now account for 30% of their total IT spending budget.
A similar number of respondents said that cloud investments have resulted in “higher-than-expected” IT costs over the last 12 months amid surging prices and economic disruption.
This, the report found, marked a 28% increase compared to the year prior, underlining the acute impact of cost increases on businesses.
While rising cloud costs are having a significant impact on operational expenditures at many organizations, Aptum noted that a lack of relevant expertise is hampering their ability to fully maximize cloud capabilities and unlock benefits from investments.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents said that a “lack of internal expertise” has prevented them from delivering value with their cloud investments.
“IT organizations must develop skills and knowledge around cloud strategy and planning to put a stop to runaway costs and inefficiencies,” the report read.
Multi-cloud deployments in particular represent a key stumbling block for organizations. A report from Oracle in February this year revealed that 98% of enterprises are using - or plan to use - at least two cloud infrastructure providers.
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31% told the tech giant that they are using four providers or more, or plan to do so in the near future.
Multi-cloud deployment difficulties complexities are being exacerbated by a lack of relevant expertise, Aptum noted. Similarly, a rushed approach and “poor planning” of such deployments is further compounding the situation for many.
“Poor planning and a lack of internal expertise, combined with an acceleration of cloud adoption during the pandemic culminated in unforeseen costs, exacerbated by a lack of familiarity with complex cloud solutions,” the report noted.
“This is particularly the case where organizations have embarked on a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy that sees a mixture of on-prem and public cloud services for different data services and workloads.”
Aptum’s insights on multi-cloud-related expertise challenges aligns with similar research on the subject from this year.
A report from HashiCorp found that “high cloud maturity” firms are delivering value from their shift to a multi-cloud approach. However, skills remain a key inhibitor for many.
80% of respondents identified relevant skills and expertise as a major factor in delivering successful multi-cloud deployments. These successes are being hindered by a lack of skills, the report added, which is preventing firms from accelerating their shift to multi-cloud and unlocking additional value.
Growing FinOps focus
The Aptum study noted that firms must sharpen their focus on bolstering expertise in areas such as FinOps to mitigate rising costs moving forward.
FinOps practices have grown in popularity in recent years as organizations seek to curtail rising costs and optimize cloud usage. A study into cloud optimization from Crayon this year found that 62% of businesses globally have implemented FinOps practices in some capacity.
Nearly one-quarter also said they plan to adopt FinOps within the next three years.
This FinOps skills focus should center around developing cross-functional teams that combine expertise from engineering, finance, and product sections of the organization to both support delivery and maximize financial oversight of cloud spending, the report read.
“Crucially, FinOps helps organizations gain real visibility into cloud costs and make informed decisions on when and where to optimize.”
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Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.
He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.