How to Combat the Cost of Cloud Computing for SME’s

You know Cloud Computing is too expensive when even Mark Zuckerberg complains about it.

“In our bio board meetings, one of the things we talk about is the cost of the compute, and our AWS bill, for example, is one of the specific points.” He stated.

According to Zuckerberg, the biggest impediment to organisations – specifically those that are research-based, like Zuckerberg’s medical research venture BioHub – isn’t the cost of physical experiments, but in computing and data. And it’s not just Zuckerberg having misgivings about the cost of the cloud. According to the 2018 state of the cloud survey, unused cloud is the top priority organisations are looking to wrangle when it comes to unnecessary spending. The big question in the cloud era is, how can we combat the cost of cloud computing and reduce waste?

Huge companies like Apple use AWS services and other cloud storage providers for iCloud. According to TechRadar, Apple’s annual spending on AWS alone could reach up to $360m per year.

The average amount of clouds leveraged by organisations can be up to 5 separate clouds. These enterprises have previously used hybrid strategies (public and private clouds) but recently this strategy has begun to decline, with organisations preferring to use either-or. Unfortunately, for a lot of these organisations they may not realise that migrating to the cloud can be costly if you don’t know what you’re doing, or how to adapt your activities to the cloud environment.

How to Mitigate Cloud Costs:

Luckily there are ways to mitigate cloud costs. Automated policies can be implemented, these include shutting down unused workloads and selecting lower-costing regions. Another form of mitigating unexpected costs is to use a Cloud Access Security Brokerage System, or CASB.

A CASB works by providing both shadow and sanctioned IT discovery, and though it is a security solution, it can also provide an overview of organisational cloud service usage and who is accessing data, their device, and their location. This kind of visibility can save organisations millions – particularly when it comes to providing adaptive access controls – employees and customers can’t overuse resources they don’t have access to. A CASB can also help to prevent the dreaded Denial of Wallet attack – where hackers exploit the auto-scaling functionality of the cloud by over-consuming resources and drive up infrastructure costs for organisations.

If you are looking for a cost-effective solution for your organisations’ cloud services that can stop attackers in their tracks, and add automated and wide-ranging security systems to cloud-based servers, take a look at Cogito’s Jellyfish product. Jellyfish is designed for organisations large and small, navigating the cloud-era.

How to create a well-thought out cloud strategy:

A CASB that offers visibility should be the first part of your cloud strategy. It’s in an invaluable preventative that can ensure you have a reduced risk of denial of wallet and other such resource-based attacks no matter your organisational goals. There are some further strategic methods you might want to consider, implementation of these will depend more on those specific goals.

The second part of any cloud strategy should consider what it is that your organisation is trying to accomplish or, why are you using these services? Doing this will help you pinpoint exactly what it is you need to redesign to fit the cloud. Unfortunately, migrating to the cloud isn’t as simple as just shifting your data over.

Reorganising operations to fully leverage the cloud – your organisation must change to fit the new technology it is using. This is known as adopting a cloud-native approach, and making the resources work in the technology they will need to adapt to regardless. Netflix is one of the biggest examples of this. Netflix rebuilt its technology in just under a decade, completely restructuring to allow its streaming services to operate at a fraction of the cost they were in its original data centre.

To recap, combating the cost of cloud computing involves:

  • Implementing a CASB
  • Creating a cloud strategy
  • Reorganising your organisational operations to fit the cloud

For more information on AWS and avoiding excessive costs you can read our pros and cons article here.


Cogito Group is an award-winning cybersecurity company specialising in authentication, cloud security, identity management and data protection. Cogito Group protect the authentication methods used to access information through the use of Identity and other security technologies.