Are you in control of cloud spending?

Business News & Tips

5-Step guide to reviewing your cloud costs

How can businesses get their cloud spending under control and review their IT infrastructure?

Our survey (cloud report 2023) suggests that small and medium firms want to make changes regarding their IT and cloud spending.

For many, the move to the cloud was a reaction to the unique needs of the pandemic. Now firms are looking at their costs and are uneasy about being committed to cloud services where they have no control or certainty over their future costs.

To assist with reviewing costs, we’ve put together a 5-step process we recommend you take:

1. Ensure complete visibility

License audit

  • Understand exactly which cloud data storage platforms and SaaS licences all departments are using. SaaS spending, in particular, has often been decentralised. Start by working out what you have today.
  • Understand the intended purpose of using that platform or application. Are people using multiple applications to complete similar tasks?
  • Are you using more resources than required, continuing to license applications and features that are little used or redundant?
  • Are there solutions implemented during the pandemic to support remote working that all staff may not now require.
  • Look out for apps and SaaS platforms that may have originally been free but are now paid for, or which will charge once you reach a particular threshold, and which may not now be the most cost-effective.

Provider comparison

  • Remember, not all data storage applications are created equal. Applications can vary significantly in terms of security and functionality. Consider this when deciding where to save your data.
  • Are different departments completing similar tasks on different software? Is there an opportunity to standardise across the business?
  • If you have a fluctuating seasonal workload, it may be better to look for a provider that offers a pay-as-you-go model rather than having unused capacity for most of the year.

Data evaluation

  • Evaluate if you need to keep all data? Does it all need to be saved in the cloud? How long do you need to store it?
  • By having visibility of how you are using the cloud, it will enable you to:

» Identify unused or duplicate resources you can cut. Ensure you are using the best provider for each function.

» Understand what data you keep, allowing you to cut anything unnecessary. This not only reduces costs, but is good practice when complying with GDPR.

2. Have a strategy

  • Now that you know your needs and have complete visibility of your current setup, the time is right to draw up a strategy and bring in expert support to discuss your options for meeting those needs.
  • You should look at all options available –cloud, on-premise servers, and hybrid options. An IT partner can identify the best match for your needs and budget.
  • Don’t assume scaling back cloud storage and SaaS platform usage always saves costs or suits your cash flow. Remember, on-premise data centres require capital expenditure as well as ongoing running costs and IT support. With cloud, these costs are covered in the licences and operational expenditure. Once you have chosen a route, get advice on what technology and applications will best meet your needs.

3. Issue guidelines

  • If you decide on a cloud route, you next need to evaluate cost against functionality.
  • With regard to data storage, issue guidelines for data storage so that there is consistent best practice across the organisation. That way, you are not paying for data that is not needed, or using applications unnecessarily.
  • If you are paying for a cloud application, ensure all employees are trained to use it as well as possible to get the most value.

4. Create accountability

  • One person in the business should take ownership of these costs on an ongoing basis. Each department head should be aware of their own spend and ensure standardisation where appropriate.
  • Cost centre billing for IT can create a cost-conscious culture and prevent costs from increasing without clear visibility.

5. Monitor and report

  • Your managed service provider or expert IT partner should be able to support you with accessing cloud management reports regularly. These will give you oversight of what you’re storing.
  • Look out for unused capacity that you are paying for and trends towards increasing data storage which may need managing to control costs better.
  • Use regular reports to support future planning so you have the capacity for growth or operational changes. Preparing in advance can help you use your IT resources in a more considered way.

Download the report: Making the cloud work for UK businesses


  • – IT trends in UK businesses – results from our survey of UK business leaders
  • – The cost of cloud: Facts and figures
  • – What are SMEs doing about the creeping cost of cloud?
  • – 5 step guide: Reviewing your cloud costs


About Beaming

We’re Beaming, a specialist internet service provider (ISP) for businesses. We’ve been helping organisations across the UK with fast, reliable, and secure voice and data connectivity, as well as managed services, since 2004.

From the resilient and secure network we’ve built, to the choice of tailormade products all supplied with expert service, we provide peace of mind that businesses require.

We know that your business is unique, so we take the time to get to know you and your specific needs. If you’re looking for a reliable ISP for your business, we’d love to chat.