The cloud and easy-to-adopt SaaS applications might seem like the go-to destination for all modernizing companies, notably as the push to digital business grows. But there are costs, some hidden and some down the pipe that finance and operations leaders need to be aware of.
The cloud is a hugely tempting prospect for any business. For growing firms, it reduces or eliminates the need for expensive servers, data centers, complex networks, and endless upgrades and management costs.
Using the cloud, companies can adopt low-cost digital productivity, collaboration, finance, and operational SaaS products, going live in hours, not weeks or months. And as the company scales, new teams can be onboarded immediately with minimum delay.
But the cloud/SaaS combo, while highly tempting and essential for most companies without extensive IT budgets is not a total bed of roses. Cloud bill shock is an increasingly common term and a growing headache for finance and IT management teams.
Many costs might not be immediately apparent, and with the public cloud likely to become the dominant form of computing consumption by 2025 according to IT research firm Gartner, that will tally to huge sums that could be saved.
The Good, Bad, and the Ugly of the Cloud
The cloud is well known as a cost-effective way for businesses to adopt services, storage, and compute power without investing in expensive hardware, cutting capital expenditure, and creating a manageable operating cost.
Those major costs are absorbed by the cloud/SaaS companies through their posh data centers, which can recoup them over thousands or millions of clients as part of their rolling subscriptions. Therefore, they will try to wring every last cent out of customers.
So, buried in the small print among the terms and conditions are some notorious concepts like egress costs to move large amounts of data away from your current provider. That little trick has cost big-name technology companies tens of millions of dollars as they look to make savings on their big (becoming massive) data lakes.
Overspending is also easily ignored as costs creep up, through adaptive usage. As your business grows and the number of users increases, so does the amount of data, bandwidth, instances, virtual systems, applications, premium features, and other elements that can all add to the bill, especially if someone is not assigned to manage those costs.
The power and peril of cloud ecommerce
Companies setting up online and ecommerce stores might find sales booming, with the likes of Shopify making it easy to create a store. Online retail was up 43% during the pandemic and continues to rise. Stores can integrate into enterprise resource planning (ERP) products like Infor CloudSuite and others to help build a coherent across-the-business sales and marketing approach, with the cloud delivering great value.
But tucked deep in the sales process are the likes of chargeback fees, $15 per case for Shopify customers. And, when there are disputes, these can drag out and create bad customer sentiment.
We provide the chargeback management tools to handle these cases, ensuring costs are minimized and e-commerce customers are kept happy. Cartis Payments integrates neatly with CloudSuite supporting payment, administration, and subscription services.
Cartis helps protect against fraud and limits the costs of chargebacks, delivering faster transactions and fulfillment. We also make it easier to identify chargeback trends and ensure sales and finance can keep on top of the problem.
Be a smart cloud operator
Before adopting any cloud services, check the fine print of each contract, and ask plenty of questions on any aspect where the is nothing short of total clarity. Read every definition, especially around data, storage, transfer, dependencies, and over-provisioning.
And when in the cloud, be sure your teams use them efficiently, whatever the ERP or productivity suite they use. Avoid data duplication, ensure only authorized services are used, and delegate the cost monitoring and negotiations to an experienced manager or partner, as costs rise to get the best deal.
Finally, don’t be afraid of the cloud, it has transformed IT, productivity, and sales for millions of businesses, and can do the same for yours. But, don’t think of it as a simple contract with a low fee, forever – the SaaS and cloud providers will look at many ways, especially with rising energy, property, and telecom costs, to maximize their return.
See how Cartis can help your business minimize growing ecommerce costs.