Cloud waste is unnecessary spending on cloud services. It refers to unused or underused services during one or more billing cycles, which results in "wasted" spending.
Many types of cloud waste exist. Some examples include:
- Unused apps in Adobe Creative Cloud
- Unused Microsoft 365 subscriptions
- Underutilized server bandwidth
- Unnecessary cloud security features
- Underused cloud computing services
- Underused monthly mailing list email sends
Cloud waste affects everyone from home users to enterprise businesses. For example, a student who purchases an annual Creative Cloud subscription but only uses it for six months may waste several hundred dollars a year. A company that purchases 10,000 Microsoft 365 licenses or "seats" but only uses 8,000 may waste thousands of dollars a month in unused subscription fees.
Cloud computing platforms like Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud provide usage-based billing, which helps reduce cloud waste. Similar to an electrical meter, these services track each client's specific usage, such as compute time, API calls, bandwidth used, etc. Still, many cloud platforms have base monthly service fees and charge for add-ons that may go underutilized over time.
Cloud-based services provide an efficient and cost-effective way for companies to manage IT solutions. However, it is essential for individuals and organizations to regularly review their cloud subscriptions to make sure they are not wasting money on unnecessary services.