Cloud Contract Management

Maximize cloud environment efficiency through cloud contract management

Cloud services form the backbone of many organizations today, but ensuring your service agreements align with your business needs is vital. That’s where cloud contract management comes in — the process of optimizing these agreements to reduce spend, increase efficiency, and minimize risk.

What is

Cloud Contract Management

?

The use of cloud computing has grown exponentially in recent years, fundamentally changing how businesses store data and access computing power. While companies have traditionally relied on on-premises infrastructure, digital transformation and the shift to cloud technology has introduced a new layer of complexity to IT operations — cloud contract management.  

Cloud contract management refers to the process of managing contracts related to cloud services such as those offered by providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. As companies realize the benefits of off-premises data storage and compute solutions from such vendors — primarily increased scalability and higher cost-effectiveness — a greater reliance on such services means effective cloud contract management is becoming more and more important.

Of course, cloud contract management is not without challenges. Cloud environments are often complex, with a wide range of services and pricing models across providers. Many organizations have adopted hybrid or multi-cloud strategies, further compounding the issue. Enforcing security and compliance policies across different services can be difficult too. Without clear cloud visibility, wasted spend and unexpected costs can add up.

This is where cloud contract management tools can help. With our Cloud Cost Optimization tool, for example, you can view all your AWS service contracts within a unified central repository. From there, it’s easy to analyze contract terms, real-time usage data, and spending patterns in order to identify opportunities for cost savings and make informed decisions about your cloud investments.

What is cloud-based contract management?

Imagine having all your organization’s contracts — from software licenses and service level agreements (SLAs) through to freelancer retainers and office space rentals — in a centralized, secure online platform. That’s the power of cloud-based contract management, a software solution that stores your agreements in a readily accessible app.

It’s important to note that cloud-based contract management is different from cloud contract management. The latter deals with agreements specifically related to cloud resources and services such as compute, file storage, or databases, while the former involves the use of cloud-based software applications to streamline the general management of contracts within a business context. This process is often referred to as contract lifecycle management, or CLM.

Utilizing cloud-based contract management software such as CloudEagle, DocuSign, or PandaDoc can offer a number of benefits including:

  • Improved organization of your contracts for easy access by your team members;
  • Increased visibility of the terms of your agreements;
  • Smoother collaboration with stakeholders through secure internal and external sharing;
  • Quicker contract creation and completion with features like contract templates, amendments and redlining notifications, clause library tools, and e-signatures;
  • Stronger security thanks to robust protections and permissions for sensitive information plus integration with services like eSign.

Along with the Cloud Cost Optimization tool, Vertice also offers a SaaS Purchasing Platform — a cloud-based contract management solution for taking care of your software-as-a-service licenses and agreements. Rather than the broader scope of more generalized CLM software, our platform is specifically designed to optimize your SaaS footprint through a number of functions:

  • Uncover all your company’s software, including unsanctioned and shadow IT;
  • Monitor your SaaS solutions with user-friendly dashboards, giving clear insight into utilization and cost;
  • Let us negotiate with vendors to get you lower prices based on usage and market data;
  • Streamline all aspects of the SaaS contract management process, from procurement and approval workflows to contract renewals.

By leveraging CLM solutions like the Vertice SaaS Purchasing Platform, you can quickly identify areas for improvement within your stack.

The challenges of managing cloud contracts

A primary strength of cloud vs on-prem infrastructure is its scalability, letting your operations grow in tandem with your organization. Effectively managing contracts becomes particularly important during scale-up phases in order to ensure your services continue to align with your business needs, but it often remains a significant challenge during early and growth stages for a number of reasons:

  • Exponential growth – Scale-up phases are often characterized by significant increases in cloud service utilization, which can outpace existing contract terms and lead to cost overruns or service limitations.
  • Cost management – Pricing structures are often complex for cloud services. As a company scales, it gets harder to accurately predict and manage cloud costs without proper contract administration.  
  • Unexpected charges – Cloud contracts may include hidden fees or penalties for exceeding usage limits.
  • Resource utilization – With a growing cloud footprint, it’s crucial to ensure your resource utilization is optimized to avoid wasted spend.
  • Feature overlap – The more cloud providers and services your organization employs, the greater the chance of redundancy and unnecessary costs due to duplicate functionality within solutions.

These challenges become especially critical when scaling up, as rapid growth amplifies their potential impact. Furthermore, focusing on agility and speed can lead to hasty decisions, resulting in poor contract negotiation or suboptimal vendor selection.

The benefits of adopting cloud contract management software

Introducing contract management tools within your organization doesn’t just mitigate the difficulties associated with an expanding cloud footprint. It can also bring about benefits such as:

  • Improved visibility and control – Once you’ve centralized your cloud service agreements within a management platform, you can easily browse key details like service descriptions or pricing structures using contract metadata, rather than having to pore through contracts word by word. Automatic notifications can be configured too, helping you achieve contract compliance and avoid exceeding usage limits.
  • Enhanced efficiency – Cloud contract management software lets you automate routine workflows like contract review and approval, freeing up your team so they can focus their energy elsewhere.
  • Streamlined negotiations – Many cloud contract management tools provide insights into market pricing trends. By combining this with usage data, you can make data-driven decisions when negotiating deals with CSPs.
  • Optimized costs – By identifying potential cost savings opportunities like unused licenses or underutilized features, you can optimize your cloud spending and maximize the value you get from your services.

The best cloud contract management software

If you utilize AWS for your cloud services, why not consider letting Vertice help you with your contract management? Our Cloud Cost Optimization tool can help drive cost savings within your stack through four key steps:

  • Visibility and reporting – With a detailed overview of your cloud spending, it’s easier to understand your current cloud spend and where you could save money. User-friendly dashboards give you a full picture of your utilization and provide alerts for usage anomalies, idle resources, and spending patterns.
  • AI-powered recommendations – Our Continuous Recommendation Engine uses over 75 optimization tests across more than 40 AWS products, leveraging artificial intelligence to give you actionable suggestions to lower your cloud spend.
  • Reserved instance optimization – Using our Reserved Instance Optimizer (RIO), you can automatically eliminate inefficiencies within your AWS services through intelligent buying or selling of reserved instances, reducing your compute spend by up to 60%.
  • Enterprise discount negotiation – Take advantage of Vertice’s vendor intelligence and market insights, and let our in-house team of experts negotiate your enterprise discount.

Find out more about our Cloud Cost Optimization platform and how it can help with your cloud contract management, and get in touch to start saving.

Save up to 60% on your AWS EC2 spend

Managing discount commitments is not only cumbersome, but the manual management of a Reserved Instance (RI) portfolio is also incredibly complex and often results in over or under provisioning. As a result, you can end up either wasting resources and achieving suboptimal cost savings, or pay higher fees and risk performance.

More specifically, our platform:

  • Manages your entire RI inventory, coverage and utilization in one place
  • Provides you with granular control at a product, instance family and region level
  • Continuously monitors your usage to make the most informed recommendations

Fulfill your EDP commitment obligations

AWS’ Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) has the potential to drive significant cost savings, but if your organization fails to meet the committed spending levels, you not only risk losing out on the discount, but you may also incur hefty financial penalties.

With a cloud spend management solution in place, this can be prevented. At Vertice, we will continuously monitor your EDP utilization and provide you with full visibility of your ongoing usage. In addition to this, we will:

  • Provide you with an understanding of how you are tracking against AWS’ break even points
  • Advise on key contract terms, term length and commitment growth
  • Deploy our negotiation expertise and benchmark data to negotiate the highest savings and best possible terms

Free up valuable time while managing your cloud spend

Optimizing cloud costs is both complex and resource intensive. Even for organizations that can afford to dedicate valuable engineering resources to the task, the full breadth of cost savings are rarely uncovered.

While this is largely down to lack of cloud spend and usage visibility across different services, accounts and regions, cloud workloads are also often dynamic with fluctuating demands. This means that in order to control spend, you need to analyze usage patterns, manually identify peak and idle periods, and determine the optimal allocation of resources, each of which requires a huge amount of time and effort.

With Vertice, it doesn’t need to.

  • Get detailed and actionable savings recommendations that require minimal engineering effort – some are even automatically implemented on your behalf
  • View comprehensive cloud spend and usage information, presented it in a simple and digestible format

Learn more about gaining unparalleled cloud visibility ›

Cloud Contract Management

FAQs

How do you manage cloud costs?

Effective cloud cost management requires a holistic and multi-faceted approach to cloud operations. Leveraging Cloud FinOps principles is fundamental to ensuring all stakeholders understand the implications of cloud investments and how strategic decision-making generates saving opportunities. Central principles include cross-functional teams, a centralized cloud financial management team, and consistently visible cost data at all levels. Management services like the Vertice cloud cost optimization platform provide indispensable insights and resources for businesses searching for cost-effective solutions to avoid overspending within their cloud environments. Our white-glove service leverages automation to help with autoscaling while gathering real-time metrics and cost reports under one unified dashboard.

What is a cloud cost management plan?

A cloud cost management plan is a strategic roadmap outlining how to monitor, optimize, and control cloud spending. The blueprint is designed to maximize ROI and cost efficiency while streamlining cloud operations. Some key initiatives include chargeback or showback implementation, rightsizing, cost analysis, automation, breaking down silos, and establishing accountability across all stakeholders.

What is cloud cost optimization?

Cloud cost optimization involves strategically managing cloud infrastructure to reduce overspending, optimize resources, and maximize value on both productivity and financial levels. Successful cloud cost optimization doesn’t just deliver value through savings plans and cost monitoring. Organizations also benefit from all-round boosted productivity due to improved resource allocation, reduced time wastage, reduced financial burdens, and streamlined workflows.

What is cloud spending?

Cloud spending refers to the cost of running cloud computing software across an organization. Calculating the total spend can be tricky due to variable pay-as-you-go pricing, add-ons, managed services, and the size of larger enterprise SaaS stacks. In fact, it’s almost impossible to accurately calculate total cost without a cloud management platform like Vertice.

How much money can I expect to save through cloud spend management?

Precise savings garnered from cloud spend management can vary depending on strategy effectiveness, organization size, and cloud environment diversity. With the Vertice platform, you can cut your cloud spend by up to 25%.

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