How much money is your cloud slurping up? Businesses still in the dark, says survey

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

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Many organisations continue to be left in the dark when it comes to providing details on cloud costs and consumption, according to research released by Cloud Cruiser.

The survey, which polled almost 350 IT professionals who were at the AWS re:Invent shows in 2014 and 2015, found almost half (42%) of respondents saying it continues to be difficult to properly allocate public cloud usage and costs, even though 85% believe it is valuable to share cloud consumption metrics with the business.

AWS usage has become universal among the companies attending AWS re:Invent over the past year, the research reveals. Whereas 7% of respondents in the 2014 survey said they were not using AWS yet, that figure drops to 0% for this year.

Similarly, the numbers of those using AWS for more business-critical operations continues to grow. Almost half (45%) of those polled say they use Amazon’s cloud for enterprise applications – ERP, CRM, HR, and email – compared to 38% in 2014, while the numbers using AWS for software development and testing has also risen (62% in 2015, 60% in 2014). The percentage of companies who use AWS as a sandbox for testing public cloud offerings has gone down year on year.

AWS made changes to its ‘reserved instance’ (RI) model – whereby users can reserve EC2 compute capacity for one or three years at a discounted hourly rate – this time last year. The usage naturally indicates a long-term commitment to Amazon’s cloud, and this is borne out in the survey results. 61% said they expect to increase their use of RIs, while 6% do not expect a change in use and 2% expect a decrease. 29% of respondents said they do not use RIs, while 2% did not know what they were.

In addition to AWS, event respondents in 2014 were more likely to supplement it with other offerings, such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. This year, the confidence in public cloud means the tables have turned: 43% say they have no additional resources, compared to 27% the year before.

This shows the benefits of public cloud are becoming more apparent to business – but at a price, argues Deirdre Mahon, Cloud Cruiser chief marketing officer. “Lack of usage visibility and cost transparency are key problem areas which have in turn created demand for new, flexible and easy to use solutions that drive efficiency, cost savings and a way to hold business users accountable for what they are consuming,” she explained.

“Investing in the right cloud efficiency solutions will continue to be critical for businesses of all sizes, even during the early stages of adoption.”

Are you surprised at the results of this cloud survey? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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