Five Tips to Help You Plan a Budget for Cloud Computing Services

Your business needs to start making money if you ever want to get paid, and at some point you’re going to need cloud computing services in order to do so. You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the best cloud computing business, but your budget can be the difference between wasting money on overages or saving yourself time and money in the long run. Here are five tips for planning a budget for cloud computing services.

Find out what’s included in the price

Before you buy, ask how your services will be billed. Are there monthly costs? What’s included? There may be add-ons and/or optional features. If you want those features and they’re extra, make sure you know how much extra they are before making your purchase. Paying attention up front can help you avoid unpleasant surprises in month two of your contract when unexpected charges are added to your bill. Also, if possible, request an estimated invoice or budget before signing any contracts so that you have a better idea of what you’ll be paying on an ongoing basis.

Know your computing needs

Developing a budget is key in any business endeavor, but it can be especially important when using cloud computing services because they can be very flexible. It’s easy to overestimate your needs or even underestimate them which could lead to you paying more than you need to and not enough, respectively. Before signing any contracts, take time out of your schedule and conduct an honest assessment of your future needs both short-term and long-term. By doing so, you should get a better idea about how much data storage space, bandwidth capacity and processing power will actually be necessary for your company’s operations.

Check if there are costs involved when increasing usage

Does your provider charge extra if you go over on bandwidth or storage? Are there fines involved when you don’t hit your goal? A good cloud computing service will be flexible with their customers and work with them, not against them. Look at any contract closely and read into it as much as possible if anything seems too cagey or financially restrictive, find another provider. If you have questions about what is included in your package, contact customer support before signing up so that you can ask specific questions without committing yourself to a long-term agreement.

Consider maintenance contracts

Oftentimes, cloud services are billed on a monthly basis. If you’re worried about paying for your computing resources, one option is to sign up for a maintenance contract and get a discount that way. Or, you can look into keeping some or all of your cloud usage in your own data center; the cloud provides only a means of accessing it. For example, Google Compute Engine only allows you to use machine instances that are housed in its data centers; with Amazon Web Services (AWS), you have more options because AWS bills by usage (which makes sense). The big three providers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform all offer discounts if you buy more than one year’s worth of service up front, so take advantage of those offers.

Read the fine print carefully

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in making sure you get everything you want from your cloud computing services. While it is important to know what’s included and what isn’t, it can be just as helpful (if not more so) to know what actually costs money. Read your contract carefully and make sure that you understand exactly how much it is costing each month before committing. If anything seems off or too good (or bad) to be true, that could be an indication of hidden fees that aren’t clear at first glance. Be on top of potential add-ons and additional charges before they sneak up on you!

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