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'Cloud sprawl' catches firms out during COVID disruption

31 Aug 2020

Businesses worldwide have increased their IT spend this year due to the COVID pandemic, leading to new concerns around IT budgets and cost control.

In a recent survey by Rackspace, cost control was identified as a key method of managing budgetary concerns, however, many IT professionals do not have the skills or understanding to take full advantage of it.

Cloud sprawl, which is when organisations cannot keep track of their cloud services, applications, infrastructure, and providers, is leading to a lack of visibility and control.

“Many businesses have found out the hard way in 2020 that their IT systems, resources and spend tracking weren’t ready for COVID,” says Rackspace Technology’s chief technology officer of solutions, Jeff DeVerter. 

In Australia, 87% of businesses have increased IT expenditure, however, only 56% understand cloud cost governance and cloud optimisation are. Further, 58% feel that their teams are ‘empowered’ to make IT budgeting decisions but lack the skills to do so.

In Singapore, the survey found that 35% of local IT decision-makers lack a basic understanding of what cloud cost governance and cloud cost optimisation are, and how they are different. Businesses in this category are at risk of cloud sprawl.

Despite this lack of understanding, businesses are increasing spend in technologies that support remote working, such as virtual desktop infrastructure, productivity, and collaboration. 

Further, different business units are rapidly adopting tools to maintain business continuity – possibly at the cost of investment in other IT priorities.

In Singapore, 53% of respondents expressed concern that they are unable to fund planned projects because of the challenges associated with unplanned IT investment in business continuity.

“With many businesses having already increased their IT budgets to meet the challenges of COVID, it’s not surprising that IT leaders are now looking at ways to keep costs under control. There’s a general lack of understanding, however, and support is often needed to alleviate some of these pressures,” says Rackspace Technology A/NZ managing director Sean Girvin.

In Australia, half (51%) of IT leaders plan to optimise their existing cloud infrastructure and more than a third (37%) intend to deploy new cloud infrastructure to make savings.

Of the respondents who said they plan to either move to multi or hybrid cloud (41%) or develop cloud-based solutions (41%) in 2020, three quarters have now accelerated these plans (75% and 74% respectively).

The survey, Preventing Cloud Sprawl: Uncovering the Hidden Complexities of IT Spend Management, polled 1516 IT professionals across the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Colombia, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Middle East.

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