How To Aggregate Multi-Cloud Spend Into A Single View


Managing expenses across multiple cloud platforms can be a daunting task for businesses, especially as cloud adoption grows. Aggregating multi-cloud spend into a single view is essential for optimizing costs, enhancing visibility, and improving financial planning. This guide will provide you with a straightforward, SEO-friendly approach to combining your multi-cloud expenses into one comprehensive view.

Why Multi-Cloud Spend Management is Important

Multi-cloud strategies offer numerous benefits, such as avoiding vendor lock-in, improving redundancy, and leveraging the best services from different providers. However, they also introduce complexity in cost management. Understanding and managing your multi-cloud spend is crucial for:

  1. Cost Optimization: Identifying and eliminating redundant or unnecessary expenses.
  2. Budgeting and Forecasting: Accurately predicting future cloud costs.
  3. Resource Allocation: Ensuring resources are efficiently allocated based on cost and usage data.
  4. Financial Transparency: Providing clear insights for stakeholders and decision-makers.

Steps to Combine Multi-Cloud Spend

1. Identify Your Cloud Providers

Start by listing all the cloud providers your organization uses. Common providers include AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud. Understanding the scope of your cloud usage is the first step in aggregating your spend.

2. Collect Cost Data

Each cloud provider offers detailed billing and cost data. Access and download this data from each provider’s billing portal. Ensure you collect:

  • Billing reports
  • Usage reports
  • Invoices

3. Use Cloud Cost Management Tools

There are several tools available that can help you aggregate and analyze your multi-cloud spend. These tools provide features like cost visualization, budgeting, and forecasting. Some popular cloud cost management tools include:

  • CloudHealth by VMware
  • AWS Cost Explorer
  • Azure Cost Management
  • Google Cloud Platform’s Cost Management
  • Turbonomic

4. Normalize Data

Different cloud providers may have different billing formats and terminologies. Normalize this data to ensure consistency. This involves standardizing units of measurement, aligning cost categories, and translating vendor-specific terms into a common language.

5. Create a Centralized Dashboard

Use a cloud cost management tool or a custom solution to create a centralized dashboard. This dashboard should provide a unified view of your multi-cloud spend, allowing you to:

  • Track expenses by provider, service, and project.
  • Visualize spending trends over time.
  • Identify areas for cost optimization.

6. Automate Reporting

Automate the process of collecting, normalizing, and visualizing your cloud spend data. Automation reduces the risk of errors and ensures you have up-to-date information. Set up automated reports and alerts to stay informed about your cloud expenses.

Best Practices for Multi-Cloud Spend Management

  • Regularly Review Costs: Conduct regular reviews of your cloud spending to identify and address any anomalies or unexpected expenses.
  • Optimize Resource Usage: Use tools to identify underutilized resources and optimize their usage.
  • Implement Tagging and Labeling: Use tags and labels to categorize resources by project, department, or environment. This helps in tracking and allocating costs accurately.
  • Negotiate with Providers: Leverage your multi-cloud strategy to negotiate better pricing and terms with your providers.

FAQs About Multi-Cloud Spend Management

Q: What are the challenges of managing multi-cloud spend? A: The main challenges include data fragmentation, inconsistent billing formats, lack of visibility, and difficulty in tracking and optimizing costs across multiple platforms.

Q: How can cloud cost management tools help? A: These tools provide a unified view of your cloud spend, automate data collection and normalization, offer cost visualization, and help in budgeting and forecasting.

Q: Is it possible to get real-time cost data from all cloud providers? A: While most providers offer near real-time cost data, the level of detail and update frequency can vary. It’s essential to check the capabilities of each provider.

Q: How often should I review my cloud spending? A: It’s recommended to review your cloud spending monthly. However, larger organizations with significant cloud usage may benefit from more frequent reviews, such as weekly or bi-weekly.

Q: Can I allocate costs to specific projects or departments? A: Yes, by using tags and labels, you can allocate costs to specific projects, departments, or business units, providing detailed insights into how cloud resources are being utilized.


Aggregating multi-cloud spend into a single view is vital for effective cost management and financial planning. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the right tools, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your cloud expenses, optimize costs, and improve financial transparency. Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, effective multi-cloud spend management will help you maximize the value of your cloud investments.

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