Signing up for cloud services is easy. But getting control of cloud spending can be a persistent challenge for an enterprise focused on making the most of its technology investment.\n\nGartner predicted worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services would grow 20.7% in 2023, to $591.8 billion. A survey for Foundry's Cloud Computing Study 2023 found that lowering total cost of ownership ranks in the top three drivers of cloud computing initiatives, but controlling cloud costs was the top challenge that slows or stalls cloud adoption.\n\n"The cloud makes it easy to build and grow solutions, but costs can quickly spiral out of control," says Jay Upchurch, Executive Vice President and CIO with leading AI and analytics software company, SAS. Upchurch is an accomplished IT executive with more than 24 years of experience leading global managed hosting, managed application, cloud, and SaaS organizations.\n\nDealing with unanticipated costs\n\nConcerns that cloud and distributed computing costs will exceed expectations leave organizations with two primary paths to keep control of expenses :\n\n"If you're focused on moving fast and onboarding customers, it's easy to miss the mark on cost efficiency," says Upchurch. "Going back after the fact to optimize for cost while you're still trying to operate and grow can make things even harder."\n\nAchieving cost-efficiency and maximizing productivity requires an ability to account for the time that cloud resources are used and the number of workloads you can execute when cloud resources are up and running. Another key factor is the efficient use of available CPUs.\n\nThose factors are at the heart of the evolving culture and practice of FinOps. According to the FinOps Foundation's Technical Advisory Council, FinOps combines lessons of finance and DevOps to bring accountability to cloud spending "by helping engineering, finance, technology, and business teams to collaborate on data-driven spending decisions." \n\nUsing that financial information, organizations can make near real-time decisions to optimize costs. By quickly showing engineers the financial implications of feature development and product changes, for example, they can optimize features for cost in the same way they tune for performance or uptime.\n\nAlign cost and performance insights\n\n"To take action on cloud financial information, it's important to attribute costs back to the teams that generate the spend," says Upchurch. "Those teams are in the best seat to take advantage of the cloud's elasticity."\n\nAll cloud vendors provide some capabilities for daily or even hourly reports on cloud costs to provide recommendations for lowering costs.\u00a0But more organizations are using multiple cloud environments, which can make it difficult to track and align cost and performance insights across an enterprise.\u00a0With more efficient analytics, organizations can achieve better results in less time, gaining better value from their cloud investments.\n\nCan you run analytics in the cloud? Sure. Will it deliver the same level of performance? For many, that\u2019s the real question...\u201d Pat Richards Director, AI & Analytics, Intel Download this whitepaper to learn about the top 5 questions IT leaders are really asking about cloud analytics, SAS\u00ae and Microsoft Azure, and the straight answers they deserve to hear.