According to CIO’s John Edwards, “Many enterprises that once looked to the cloud as a way to curb data center expenditures are now beginning to wonder why they’re not saving as much money as they expected.” Sound familiar? If so, read on for some tips to help bring costs under control and realign your cloud strategy with your initial deployment goals.

1.     Plan and analyze

Cloud adoption can save companies money, but only if they are strategic in their planning and analysis of the respective costs and benefits. The executives that Edwards interviewed urged organizations to go into cloud projects not only with clear goals for the implementation but also a plan for expected cost savings and what is required to achieve those savings. Having this information at the outset ensures that companies commit to a resource and spending level appropriate for the project, and reduces the likelihood of unexpected budget surprises.

2.     Create a cost-conscious culture

A key component of the above consideration is establishing a cost-conscious culture that is focused on optimization, reducing budgets, and improving performance. In addition, Edwards writes, “Organizations need to measure their cloud spend against business metrics, such as total revenue, subscribers, and orders completed. This is important because it allows you to add context to the spend and change the conversation from cloud cost to cloud ROI.”

3.     Go cloud native

As a general rule, a cloud-native approach is the best way to move existing workloads to the cloud. The “lift and shift” strategy, in which workloads are migrated from on-premises environments, brings with it some costly risks, including latency and performance issues and, in some cases, total migration failures.

4.     Get organized

Building and maintaining a solid governance regimen can go a long way in minimizing cloud costs. Edwards spoke with one IT leader who advised companies to partition cloud consumption into specific business unit subscriptions, to require naming and tagging standards across these subscriptions, and to ensure compliance via built-in auditing functionality. Designating an owner and project relationship of each instance is also important, as it enables organizations to trace unexpected costs and evaluate their necessity for achieving business goals.

You can find more of Edwards’ tips for cloud cost reduction here. And check out the previous APEX of Innovation posts on cloud adoption here and here.