MDSL Rolls Out Cloud Management Expense Software For Enterprises


A software company specializing in technology expense management is launching a new product to help enterprises get a handle on their cloud services spending across their organizations and multiple cloud platforms.

MDSL’s Cloud Services Expense Manager software lets enterprises process, allocate and report their spending on cloud infrastructure, platform and Software-as-a-Service applications using cloud vendors’ application programming interfaces.

The Phoenix-based company cites a 2018 Gartner research report that said 80 percent of organizations will overshoot their public cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service budgets alone due to a lack of cost-optimization approaches.

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“What ends up happening is IT organizations are being asked to support different projects that they had no idea existed and are underway, and it saps their support resources,” said Aaron Zeper, vice president of customer demand for MDSL. “By knowing the projects and who they’re for, I can assign the actual cost to support. The downstream effect of that is I can either calculate my (return on investment) on a project or my total costs of ownership.”

Technology expense management software developers and cloud management service providers are adding cloud cost management tools to their product offerings to address a problem that’s grown in magnitude in the last year and a half as organizations make serious material investments in the cloud, according to Ed Anderson, a research analyst specializing in cloud market dynamics at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner.

Cloud end-users are projected to spend $118 billion for cloud services in the U.S. this year, up from $101 billion last year, according to Gartner. And having systems to track and manage those cloud costs is a big and growing need.

“It’s an emerging problem that only will grow with intensity,” Anderson said. “Cloud is interesting, because it’s got this dynamic cost model. It changes all the time based on how you are using the services. Unlike a traditional product, where you have fixed terms, it can be very difficult to track those expenses.”

MDSL’s new cloud-based product was developed in response to customer requests, according to Zeper. An IT director for an unnamed MDSL client, a large Danish toymaker, was spending 20 to 30 hours a month manually compiling spreadsheets of cloud costs from 122 accounts in order to pay its cloud service bills.

“With their cloud spend doubling every year, they were afraid what that would mean next year and two years from now,” he said.

The company, a beta tester of the MDSL cloud expense management product, discovered it had just over 100 projects in the cloud compared to the 300-plus it thought it had, but monthly costs that were twice what was budgeted.

MDSL says its software is distinguished by its level of expense management granularity and its ability to interface with enterprise applications.

“Most companies have multiple types of cloud services, and you want to be able to manage them all with the standard processes,” Zeper said.

The MDSL software automatically imports billed and unbilled cloud cost and usage reports on a daily basis and allows IT budget-minders to manage them by department, project or individual.

Enterprises want a software or platform dashboard where they can see their different workloads, the cost of each, and what’s driving those costs to aid decision-making, said Cassandra Mooshian, senior cloud analyst at Technology Business Research in Hampton, N.H.

“One of the big things that we’ve been hearing from CIOs and CPOs is that, in regard to their cloud adoption or cloud migration, it’s very difficult to predict what their cloud spend is going to be,” Mooshian said. “Oftentimes, they get their bills for the first few months, and they’re quite higher than expected. They take a look at those bills, go through them line item by line item, and realize it would be helpful to have a piece of software that helps get a holistic view of our cloud spends.”