Cloud Computing

Don't Get Lost in the Clouds: Navigating Cost Challenges for SMBs

January 2, 2024
Don't Get Lost in the Clouds: Navigating Cost Challenges for SMBs

More and more, it's essential for SMBs to consider a cloud strategy or plan, as with any given technology-based initiative, some do it well and others not so well: underestimate the challenge at your peril! Here’s a list of the top five issues we’ve seen with clients and prospects in relation to their budgeting when it comes to the cloud.

Cost Control as a Top Challenge: Without question, cost control is a major challenge in cloud computing, on par with security concerns and the skills gap. SMBs often seek assistance from cloud vendors and MSPs in areas such as security expertise, cloud management capabilities, and particularly cost management capabilities. The struggle with cost control includes challenges in controlling cloud costs and the cost of moving data into and between clouds.

Cost as a Primary Concern: Traditional small businesses prioritize cost above other elements of cloud infrastructure. The cost of services is often a more significant worry than even cybersecurity threats.

Initial Investment and Ongoing Costs: The initial investment for cloud migration can be daunting for SMBs with limited financial resources. This includes the costs associated with migrating systems and data, which often require architectural changes, as well as expenses for training staff, acquiring new skills, and hiring consultants. Additionally, there are ongoing costs of maintaining and operating in a cloud environment, which can include unexpected expenses and the need for continuous management and governance. We always recommend to our clients that they need to understand not just the potential benefit but also the period over which that benefit is realized, not just from a financial perspective but also in general. This is especially true for organizations like NGOs or charities, where the goal may not be purely financial. However, the reality remains the same: cloud computing costs, and you'll need to invest X to achieve Y. So, what's the plan and what are the priorities?

Complexity of Cloud Pricing Models: Cloud pricing models are often complex and dynamic, making it challenging for SMBs to predict and manage their cloud expenses accurately. The lack of experience or expertise in cloud cost management within SMBs exacerbates this issue, leading to escalated costs without proper monitoring and governance. The flip side of this coin is that SMBs are more likely to lose focus on their core business objectives due to having personnel focused on understanding and resolving such issues. More often than not, these individuals don’t possess the required skills. In many cases, we’ve seen that the successful approach is one where the SMB successfully identifies and works with a good third party to help them navigate these pricing models.

Public Clouds Not Always Suited for SMBs: Big public clouds are typically designed to suit the needs of large enterprises. However, traditional SMBs require a different approach that focuses on simplicity, support, and cost-effectiveness. This mismatch can result in higher costs and challenges in managing the IT infrastructure for SMBs, especially for those without full-time technical staff.


When it comes to cloud computing, there are many moving parts, not just from a technological perspective but also because of its on-demand nature. The complexity manifests in the payment models too. We’d recommend working alongside a third party to help you understand such challenges before jumping in too deep – less sink or swim and more paddling, with an emphasis on strong swimming after a short period!

Also see:

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Cloud Computing Challenges for SMBs

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