What is ‘bill shock’?

Think mobile phones or utilities. Everyone has opened a bill only to find it is substantially higher than they had expected. In the early days of data roaming, this was commonplace. Mobile users could access a new, exciting service and used it liberally without thinking about the costs they were incurring.

This same principle applies to the cloud. With cloud technology, your business may be far more susceptible to the cloud equivalent of bill shock than you thought.

Crippling cloud costs

Without question, the adoption of the cloud has been strengthened by the many ‘pay-per-use’ services. Although many enterprises have been able to prosper from this model, it still prevents accurate forecasting of IT spend running the risk of painful consequences if not managed effectively.

So how do businesses harness the cloud whilst insulating themselves from extreme financial implications?

Finding the root cause of cloud bill shock

There are several reasons why you might suffer cloud bill shock. Probably the biggest factor is choosing the wrong service type and pricing model. Many businesses opt for the on-demand pay-per-use model as they don’t want to make long-term commitments to a single provider.

The simplicity of the cloud and its self-service attributes, mean it’s easy to fire-up virtual machines (VMs) whenever they’re needed. This can also lead to users over-provisioning and building VMs with far more resources than needed, simply because they can.

Another common cause of cloud bill shock comes from VMs which are provisioned and then forgotten about. This can occur when VMs are fired up for testing or ‘just in case’ scenarios and are then not decommissioned.


To prevent bill shock it’s important you use a cloud provider you can trust to support and guide you through your migration to the cloud and then in your ongoing usage patterns. Having someone else keep a watchful eye over your service consumption is often overlooked in the provider selection process.

Our customers don’t experience bill shock. Depending on what services you need, our team will guide you to the most suitable model. Whether that’s long-term predictable costs or something more ready to cater for any seasonal demands you might face.

Our range of Services includes the role of a Virtual CIO. Get in touch today to learn more.

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