As the cloud has advanced, many of the worries companies initially had about using it have disappeared. Many security concerns have been addressed, for example, proving the cloud to be at least as secure as most on-prem solutions. Likewise, questions about performance, access and ease of use have largely been answered, as options have emerged for almost every size of business in every industry.
Yet, when we recently surveyed more than 500 IT leaders, the main message we heard was this: While the cloud has advanced significantly, companies are still hesitant to go “all in” – the vast majority employ a hybrid approach. In fact, 63 percent of respondents indicated that they still host, maintain and pay for secondary data centers.
What has replaced the traditional concerns and is helping keep companies from fully embracing the cloud? One of the major reasons we’ve heard is the fear of hidden costs. Our CEO and Co-founder, Ellen Rubin, summed it up nicely in an interview with SearchStorage.
Ellen said, "... as people are more experienced and have had a chance to run more different types of applications, they're learning that different use cases have different access patterns, and you have to be sensitive in terms of spending."
In many ways, unknown costs are the dirty little secret of cloud deployment. Anyone going to the cloud expects to pay to store their data, whether it’s a monthly fee per-gigabyte or other model. What companies don’t expect is to have added costs slapped on: charges for uploading data, charges for transferring it, and most of all – charges for accessing it.
Since one of the main drivers for organizations going to the cloud is perceived cost savings and better economics, it’s no wonder that these hidden costs and unpredictability can scare people off. What can enterprise IT leaders do to allay these fears? Start with these two things:
Don’t settle egress fees.
It’s not the status quo. There are hybrid options that simply eliminate egress fees, and you simply need to find them. ClearSky delivers hybrid cloud storage without egress fees, and there are cloud-only options, as well.
Local cloud startup Wasabi Technologies, for example, charges a flat fee of $4.99 per terabyte per month. As the company gains traction, this could put pressure on others to provide similar offerings.
Pay only for what you use.
Forty-one percent of our survey respondents expected their data to grow between 20 and 40 percent this year. It’s no wonder, then, that being able to scale up seamlessly is a major concern. There are also those workloads that you find must run on-prem and for those you can also scale up or down on-demand. The ability to scale elastically, and pay only for the resources you use makes the cloud more accessible to more users.
As a customer, you pay cloud companies to store your data and keep it safe. You shouldn’t have to pay to get it back. For the cloud to truly deliver its promise, customers must have cost predictability, and not have to question whether simple actions like getting their data back are going to break their budget. Choosing service providers who have ditched egress fees is a great first step toward making the cloud a better option for everyone.
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