Tackling Cloud Economics And Shadow IT

This is a guest post written and contributed by Greg Harder, senior product manager at Apptio, a Rackspace Cloud Tools partner. Apptio provides Technology Business Management (TBM) solutions for running IT like a business. Specifically, Apptio’s free Cloud Express service allows businesses to track the usage and costs of public cloud services.

Enterprise technology leaders face significant pressure to develop new and innovative strategies for cloud adoption, whether it’s private, hybrid or public. These pressures all come with a range of priorities, such as IT agility, collaboration for dispersed teams, cost reduction — the list goes on. However, IT leaders often lack the tools necessary to make data-driven decisions on which products or IT services should remain in-house, and which should be moved to the cloud.

Regardless of the delivery model, varying subscription levels and complex SLAs muddy the waters for determining how much it actually costs the business to run these cloud services. In fact, according to recent research from Gartner, “cloud contracts rarely guarantee reduced costs over time and present a range of hidden costs that can lead to adverse pricing variations.”

While IT leaders are spearheading their organization’s cloud strategy, there’s also increasing demand from outside business units for immediate access to the services they depend on. CIOs we have talked to have stated their problem simply: if IT is unable to deliver in a timely manner, the on-demand nature of cloud services makes it easy for individual users to adopt these solutions without the proper approvals of the IT department. These shadow IT implementations often fly under the radar, and, as a result, the ability to track cloud costs and utilization is even more complex. Without clear insights into the cost of cloud services, business leaders are unable to accurately calculate their value to the organization.

While a number of cloud-costing point products exist on the market today, these tools do not provide IT executives the control and level of understanding that they require to effectively communicate value to the business. With Cloud Express by Apptio, users can view their Rackspace Cloud costs in an itemized bill format and identify and aggregate spending outside of IT’s approval. They can also perform “what-if” analyses to quantify the economic impact of shifting in and out of the private cloud.

Rackspace has been at the forefront of the cloud computing movement. We’re happy to partner with them to help companies get even more value out of their cloud deployments — customers that count on Rackspace to provide best-in-class public cloud solutions will find that the Apptio integration enhances their ability to track cloud spend and utilization in a scalable, simple manner. This partnership paves the way for more advanced integration between Rackspace and Apptio’s Technology Business Management (TBM) solution, and we looking forward to strengthening our partnership in the months to come.

Rack Blogger is our catchall blog byline, subbed in when a Racker author moves on, or used when we publish a guest post. You can email Rack Blogger at blog@rackspace.com.


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