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Crafting a cloud budget that won't break the bank

With so many available cloud services, it's tough to choose how to spend those precious IT dollars. Here are two cloud projects to budget for in the future.

As more companies watch their budgets shrink, it becomes increasingly important to find more for less. And the...

IT world is no exception. To meet these demands to deliver more services and minimize costs, IT managers use cloud. And more of IT budgets are going to the cloud for that very reason.

CEOs also are tightening the reins on expenditures. In 2015, worldwide IT and telecommunications spending will grow just 3.8%, according to IDC. But businesses still want to deploy cutting-edge technology -- and cloud strikes that balance. As a result, cloud services spending will reach $118 billion in 2015, according to IDC, a market research firm located in Framingham, Mass.

So, how should you plan your cloud budget in the new year? First, prioritize disaster recovery (DR), which is often easier said than done. Implementing DR is expensive, testing is difficult and updating is an ongoing chore. However, cloud DR -- or disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) -- lowers costs, simplifies testing and enables businesses to alter their plans. As a result, worldwide cloud DR revenue will increase from $640.8 million in 2013 to $5.8 billion in 2018, according to London-based research firm TechNavio Inc.

Next, factor application development into your budget. Business units demand more applications at a faster clip, but IT struggles to keep pace. Eighty-five percent of companies have a backlog of between one and 20 for mobile applications, while 50% have 10 to 20 applications sitting in the development queue, shows a report from Opinion Matters, a London-based market research firm.

The number of cloud applications will grow tenfold, while the number of cloud developers will triple over the next four years, IDC reports.

To invest in cloud application development, budget for platform as a service (PaaS). Application developers are forced to spend too much time on hardware configurations, setting up user accounts and installing testing tools, and worldwide public PaaS revenue is expected to reach $14 billion in 2017, according to IDC. PaaS accelerates application development and allows developers to focus less on these mundane tasks and more on meeting users' needs.

Management demands more from IT departments without increasing budgets. Cloud helps organizations meet those conflicting requests. In 2015, cloud will assuage a couple of long-standing pain points, including disaster recovery and application development.

About the author:
Paul Korzeniowski is a freelance writer who specializes in cloud computing issues. Based in Sudbury, Mass., he has been covering technology issues for more than two decades and can be reached at
paulkorzen@aol.com.

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This was last published in December 2014

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First thing I'd suggest, regardless of the type of project (App-Dev, DR, etc.) is to get a cost-management tool, such as Cloudability. Simple to use, does proactive monitoring (daily cost summaries) and makes suggestions on how to optimize public cloud costs - which can be very complex and easy to make costly mistakes. 
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Cloud budgets might overshoot due to costs. It is important to make considerations of data types in terms of importance and functionality to save costs.
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