APAC Organisations Can Save Money Through Cloud Spending – Here’s How


According to the HashiCorp 2023 State of Cloud Strategy Survey, 93% of high cloud maturity organisations in APAC say multi-cloud is working for them.

As more Asia Pacific (APAC) organisations move to the cloud or advance further into their cloud journeys, cloud waste and the cost of such continues to be a problem. This coincides with a shaky economic climate and a time when most IT teams are needing to tighten their purse strings. Findings from HashiCorp’s 2023 State of Cloud Strategy Survey suggest growing awareness of this issue with 94% of organisations globally noting they have avoidable cloud spending. The poor usage, or waste is most commonly due to some combination of idle or underused resources (50%), overprovisioned resources (50%), and lack of needed skills (43%). 

“As APAC organisations increasingly turn to cloud technology to compete in the region’s digital-first environment, one thing is clear – they need to carefully manage their cloud spending.”

Grant Orchard, Field CTO, Asia Pacific and Japan, HashiCorp

What Causes Cloud Waste?

The premise of the cloud is simple enough: it offers infrastructure on demand so you can grow as needed with nearly unlimited capacity. However, unlike with a private datacentre, many users in an organisation may have the ability to provision cloud infrastructure, which can cause costs to quickly spiral out of control without governance and oversight. To solve this, operations teams can create a system that mimics private datacentres — where IT is the gatekeeper and must approve tickets for infrastructure — but that creates bottlenecks that diminish the cloud’s promises of speed and agility.

A wide variety of factors contribute to overspending in the cloud:

Paying for Unutilised Cloud Infrastructure

A lack of oversight, visibility, and tracking around what developers can provision can lead to idle resources, overprovisioning, and orphaned resources. These costs can quickly inflate your cloud bill, without providing any real benefits.

Many companies pay for cloud resources that sit idle most of the time. For example, resources are typically paid for as if they were needed to run 24/7 — even in a dev/test environment. In reality, these resources are often consumed mostly during a 40-hour work week — and then sit idle for the other 128 hours of the week.

Developers sometimes fail to de-provision software or notify operations once they finish a project. In some cases, they might simply forget, or perhaps the organisation requires a long, complex process to get ops to de-provision unneeded resources.

Loss of Developer Productivity

Some cloud costs may not be immediately visible. There’s a huge but not immediately obvious impact when inefficient cloud processes mean that highly paid developers are unable to work efficiently in a multi-cloud environment. That can be caused by having to deal with nuances specific to multiple cloud service providers and hybrid cloud environments. For example, each cloud service provides different tooling, forcing teams to build expertise in multiple systems. To create effective multi-cloud teams that maximise productivity and minimise waste, they need to apply their skills consistently regardless of the environment.

Security Risks Can Lead to Increased Spend

Unnecessary cloud costs also accumulate from risks. While the old-school, ticket-based gatekeeper IT approach can create bottlenecks and limit developer productivity, its built-in controls can also help reduce risk. Compare that to a modern multi-cloud environment, where many proprietary tools and workflows align to a single cloud vendor — so there’s no single control plane or workflow. That makes it difficult to secure every aspect of your infrastructure; for example, multiple workflows and limited visibility into infrastructure can enable cloud sprawl and shadow IT deployments.

These security issues can take many developer hours to correct and may even lead to significant fines. 

How Best to Reduce Cloud Waste?

Controlling cloud costs is not easy, but is becoming easier to manage for those organisations that are reaching cloud maturation.  There are also tools and approaches that can help optimise cloud spending.

According to the HashiCorp 2023 State of Cloud Strategy Survey, 93% of high cloud maturity organisations in APAC say multi-cloud is working for them. The research also showed that those companies that have reached high-maturity in their cloud journeys were more likely to report that while they were increasing cloud spending, the cloud was also saving them money. Not coincidentally, these organisations were also less likelyto waste money on avoidable cloud spending. 

This process of maturing cloud practices is typically driven by cloud platform teams that centralise and standardise infrastructure and application services as well as best practices across the entire organisation. A single platform to automate infrastructure is also becoming more critical to controlling cloud spend as cloud maturation in the APAC region grows. 

As APAC organisations increasingly turn to cloud technology to compete in the region’s digital-first environment, one thing is clear – they need to carefully manage their cloud spending. Maximising the benefits of infrastructure automation can help to streamline work, lower costs, and make sure the organisation can realise the promises of the cloud. 

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