6 Ways To Dodge Surprise Cloud Computing Bills

6 min read

Has your organization considered switching from on-premises data management to the cloud? Before making the jump, there are a few cost-saving strategies you can deploy that will make the transition easier.

This article will walk you through the common reasons you might get a surprise bill from cloud providers and offers actions you can take to make your bills more predictable.

The top providers for cloud computing are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft Azure. There are many other smaller options, but these three are appealing choices due to their scale and reliability. They also tend to offer the best ROI due to competitive pricing.

Each provider varies their pricing structure and costs, so it can be somewhat difficult without prior experience to make clear comparisons among them. To help you get past the steep (and expensive) learning curve, here are some of the errors we’ve seen businesses make when they switch to the cloud.

Misconfiguration Mistakes

When organizations sign up for cloud services, they expect to achieve quick scalability, convenient access, robust security and cost reductions. But often, the first bill and increasing costs thereafter make it not seem worth the effort.

Usually, this is the result of teams misconfiguring their settings with their cloud provider, which can be an expensive learning experience. It’s necessary to know the pros and cons of every configuration choice before implementation. Failing to optimize for the pricing structure of each provider will cause your expected cost savings to evaporate.

A survey by SoftwareONE that explored on-premises and cloud spend revealed 37% of respondents suffered from budget losses when they switched to the cloud. Additionally, approximately 30% of them failed to understand that everything in the cloud is metered. Every bit that is transferred or stored is taken into account. Your team needs to understand and account for this before moving to the cloud.

Unplanned Migration

Peer pressure can also lead to losses. When you look around and it seems like everyone is migrating to the cloud, you might feel tempted to do it quickly so you don’t fall behind. However, that can become a very costly mistake.

A better strategy is to sketch out a plan clearly stating the CPU, instances and memory your business requires. Compare the cost for cloud-based management with your on-premises operations. Obviously, if the cost of cloud management exceeds what you’re doing now, keep researching your options until you find one that makes sense.

Top Cloud Inititative

Getting Locked Into The Wrong Vendor

Every enterprise requires a different level of scale, dimensions and workload. Many of the cloud vendors may look alike, but when you closely observe the intricacies of the packages they offer, you’ll see differences that benefit a variety of organizations and data management strategies. Once you pick a cloud vendor, it’s not always easy to switch to another one, so you need to understand the consequences before making a lengthy commitment. You don’t want to be stuck in an unhappy marriage!

Not Keeping Up With The Pace Of Change In Cloud Tech

Businesses are embracing cloud technology like never before. Every day a new page is being added to the technological revolution of Cloud Computing. But with change happening so quickly, it’s easy to miss the latest innovations for cost savings, such as creating accounts with all three major cloud providers and designing a system that shifts your resources to whichever offers better rates than the others.

The Age of Consumpation

Data from 450 Research indicates that by 2021, the cloud computing market will be valued at $53.3 billion. Around 90% of businesses will be using some form of cloud services in the coming two years. This evolution can already be seen in how organizations are adapting:

  • Enhanced management roles for CIOs and CTOs
  • Strict security and compliance expectations
  • Expansion of hybrid and multicloud strategies

Beyond the changes listed above, every type of computing service is migrating to the cloud. Some examples of this including the following:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Backup as a Service (BaaS)
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

How To Control Cloud Computing Costs

Once you make the choice to switch to the cloud, you’ll want to follow some best practices in data management to avoid high costs. Here are the most common contributors to surprise bills and how to get them under control:

Instance Management

New cloud users often find it difficult to understand, but virtual instances need to be strictly managed to reduce costs. For example, they generate a bill even when they’re idle, so it’s best to stop them from running when they’re not being used.

Here’s a quick guide to managing instances:

  • Automated scheduling process: This is the most efficient way to manage resource allocation. Set up cloud instances for a time period you wish to use them. This doesn’t require human intervention every time a change is needed.
  • Cloud provider portal: This is a manual solution where you can write scripts for the provider to periodically switch your instances.
  • Cloud management platforms: Apache CloudStack, IBM Cloud Orchestrator, or Symantec Web are a few major platforms offering a customized solution for instance management.

Enabling Alert Features

There may be times when something goes wrong. Each provider has notification services you can set to let you know immediately. The various notification options include:

  • Exceeding your monthly spending limit
  • Violations of policies
  • Infringement of security policies
  • The number of instances and storage left after a certain number of days

Resource Overallocation

Using more servers than necessary increases load. Optimum resource allocation maintains costs and also increases efficiency.

Every App Doesn’t Always Need Migrated

Transferring every app or service to the cloud increases instances, which automatically raises your costs. Therefore, it’s necessary to consider which services work better in the cloud and truly need to be there. Some of them might work just as well, at a lower cost, using an on-premises solution.

Utilize Machine Learning And AI To Automate Processes

Machine learning optimizes cloud services. It can manage daily usage activity and deliver meaningful results to optimize usage. You can also modify AI to automatically approve any profitable enhancements it makes.

Billing From One Account

Consolidated billing allows you to track AWS charges. This makes it much easier to catch errors early instead of monitoring bills across multiple accounts. You’ll also be eligible for larger discounts when you only use one account.

Get a free consultation with Blue Whale to learn how we can help lower your cloud bill

At Blue Whale Apps, we offer services to make your SMEs smoothly transform into Cloud Enterprises. We have customized solutions for every scale of business and workload. Blue Whale Apps democratizes technology for all making it affordable, usable and accessible. We are your source for cloud application development services. Hire our expert developers for AWS, Google Cloud, and SaaS application development.


From team selection and project pacing to resource and account management, Kim is a pro at making projects run smoothly. Being deeply invested in your success, she’s here to act as your advocate with the development team to make sure that every deliverable looks and works the way you need it to. Also, the piano is her passion.

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