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Deep Dive Featuring Forrester Research: Taking Control of Cloud Costs

In recent years, there’s been a major trend of companies adopting public cloud. Their reasons are many and varied, but common themes include accelerating innovation, improving agility, and reducing data center infrastructure use. While public cloud has helped companies achieve these goals, there is still tremendous confusion around how to properly manage cloud costs.

In the midst of COVID-19, Forrester has seen a significant uptick in inquires around this issue. Many questions revolve around which tooling to use and for which scenarios. While the information and solutions exist, it can be an overwhelming undertaking for many, even for seasoned veterans in cloud.

Forrester Research recognizes the enormous challenge of managing cloud costs. To help in understanding the market, the Forrester Wave™: Cloud Cost Management and Optimization, Q4 2020 is an evaluation of the eight top vendors in this space, of which VMware was recognized as a Leader.

We recently invited Forrester Research senior analyst, Tracy Woo, who led the research, to join as a guest speaker for a webinar. We discussed the following topics:

  • COVID-19 impacts on cloud investment trends in 2020
  • The evolving challenges for cloud teams tasked with enabling increasingly complex cloud environments
  • Key considerations for organizations looking to take control of cloud costs

The complete recording of the session can be found here. The key takeaways, including recent trends in global cloud investment and important considerations when choosing a cloud cost management and optimization solution are also detailed below.

Cloud investment trends

Forrester Research conducted a survey with nearly 20,000 respondents. The goal was to understand organizations’ top business and technology priorities before the start of COVID-19, and again just after the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Not surprisingly, the research found that enterprises increased their focus to shifting to a digital business, reducing costs, improving the use of data insights in business decision-making, and accelerating their response to business and market changes.

In addition, enterprises indicated that increasing cloud usage is now a higher priority for their organization (by eight times!) than it was before the pandemic. In fact, 75% of respondents said that they plan to adopt (20%) or have already adopted (55%) public cloud, including infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) deployment models.

This high adoption rate is due to the fact that the highest level of modernizing business is with cloud. Specifically, business modernization means digital transformation—businesses differentiate themselves via digital experiences, using cloud. Still, despite the widespread adoption, businesses remain unsure on managing cloud costs.

Only 55% of enterprises actively monitor their cloud bill and only 51% of the same group are taking steps to optimize configurations to reduce their cloud spend.

Forrester Research

Business Technographics® Priorities And Journey Survey, 2020

Cloud cost management and optimization solutions

If you’re not familiar, The Forrester Wave™ is a guide created by Forrester to help buyers evaluate a shortlist of vendors in order to make informed purchasing decisions for their business. Forrester’s research process takes several months, consisting of customer feedback, user need assessments, and vendor and expert interviews, with each vendor evaluated by the same set of criteria.

In this year’s Cloud Cost Management and Optimization report, Forrester selected eight vendors and evaluated them across 27 criteria. Organizations looking to take control of their cloud costs can leverage this report to help evaluate which cloud cost management and optimization solution may be best for their unique needs and challenges. Though, VMware is pleased to announce that CloudHealth by VMware was named a Leader!

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Mature cloud cost management and optimization solutions exceed native cloud platform capabilities by providing fine-tuned, accurate optimization recommendations across complex cloud environments, including multi-cloud, hybrid, containers, third-party solutions, and network data.
  • Leading solutions differentiate by providing more than just support for the major hyperscalers, but in offering depth with billing, visibility, and optimization to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • Leaders provide granular, contextualized dashboards to show amortized costs and forecasted spend, with the ability to categorize by tags, departments, or users.

If your organization is facing challenges with cloud cost management and optimization, consider a cost management solution. To find the solution that meets your organization’s needs, consider the differentiating qualities of leading solutions.

To see all the insights and recommendations from our conversation with Forrester, watch the complete recording here. You can also download your own copy of The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Cost Management and Optimization, Q4 2020 here.