Unexpected and Hidden Fees of Cloud Services

Ah, the cloud. It seems to offer so many benefits: access information from anywhere, security and servers that you don’t need to manage, renting as much or as little space as you need… the list goes on. The problem is that many people encounter hidden and unexpected fees of cloud services. It becomes surprisingly easy to overspend. As technology vendor management experts, we understand the upfront and hidden costs of public cloud services. Here are 4 hidden and unexpected costs of cloud services to be aware of.

Free is not always free. 

The “free trial” service model is nothing new: sign up for a cable provider and get HBO free for a while. Some cloud providers may offer perks for free during a certain period. However, they might start charging for those services later. As part of our vendor management services, we can review bills and make sure that you are only paying for the services you need. 

Understand what is actually included. 

The price for a cloud service might be really attractive. But, they might not be telling you how much (or how little) is included in that price. Those things that make cloud computing so attractive–including having all of your employees access the cloud from anywhere, security, and server maintenance– may come at an additional cost. Through our RFP Alternative process, we can help you determine which services you need, which of those services are actually included in the price, and which services you’ll have to pay extra for. The public cloud options may not actually be as inexpensive as they seem. 

Automatic charges are everyone’s worst nightmare. 

Have you ever opened up your credit card statement and thought, “What’s that?” only to learn that it is an automatic charge you forgot to cancel? Those automatic charges for cloud services can also come as a surprise, especially if you’ve signed up for automatic increases. For example, you may have signed up for 1TB of online cloud storage, and when you go over, you are automatically charged for the next level. Or, if you have more people logging on and access cloud services than anticipated, you might also incur an extra cost. While having the credit card on file can be convenient, it can also mean you are automatically billed for services that you didn’t know employees were using. It can also help to come up with a policy upfront on how services are going to be deployed so that new services don’t spin out of control. 

Beware the egress charges. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and Google Cloud are some of the most popular public cloud options. Besides being easily available to almost anyone, one of the main benefits of the public cloud is that you can scale up or down as needed. These public cloud providers will allow you to upload data for free. If you are just looking for a place to store data, AWS, Azure, and Google are great. 

However, if you want to move data out of the cloud (called egress)–either because of backup system needs or auditing–these providers will charge for that. This charge might be up to $0.12 per GB, which might not sound like a lot but can add up quickly. And, you have no choice whether to pay that fee or not if you experience a hack or data breach and need to retrieve your data from the cloud. We help you determine how much data you want to store in the cloud, whether you ever need to move it, and what charges you might incur from that. 

Learning the ins and outs of cloud services and what companies offer is complicated and can be costly. Not understanding everything fully can mean that you will be charged unexpected and hidden fees for cloud services. As technology vendor management experts, we help you discover what you actually need and then make sure you pay only for those services. Contact us today to learn more about our RFP Alternative process and cloud services. 

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