5 Ways Automation Is Helping to Optimize Cloud Spending

In a recent blog, “Who’s Responsible For Your Organization’s Cloud Cost Optimization?,” we mentioned some of the main stakeholders of cloud costs: primarily the business, DevOps, and engineering teams. The financial responsibility of keeping cloud costs in check often gets lower priority among other important tasks within certain teams.  

This brings up an interesting question: could cutting down cloud costs be a full-time job? 

Growing cloud adoption  

Cost management plays a huge role in the transition to cloud computing. In a 2020 Deloitte report, 68% of CIOs ranked “migrating to the public cloud and/or expanding private cloud” as the top IT spending driver.  

While it’s true many businesses correlate the cloud with cost savings, IT budgets can easily be expanded because it’s relatively easy and quick for cloud resources to build up. Then there are the costs and resources involved in cloud migration to consider; they too can quickly spiral out of control.  

Unfortunately, the pricing structures of cloud providers is complex. Even after migration is complete, costs will start to go up as cloud usage goes up and more services are added. Furthermore, pricing structures continue to evolve. With no process or tool in place to control rising cloud costs, many businesses can end up with large cloud bills. 

So who exactly in an organization would manage cloud costs? 

Many would argue that cloud cost analysis should be part of a cloud operational plan. And at many companies, cost management is generally handed to senior cloud engineers or architects. 

As such, when companies move to the cloud, there are vast opportunities for growing careers to help companies in managing cloud products and services better.  

There is also rising popularity with FinOps, which is shorthand for Cloud Financial Management. According to the FinOps Foundation, FinOps is also “the practice of bringing financial accountability to the variable spend model of cloud, enabling distributed teams to make business trade-offs between speed, cost, and quality.” 

FinOps is a set of business practices and not necessarily a dedicated team. In most cases, FinOps can include cloud management platforms (CMP) that are designed to make things easier for the main stakeholders. Cloud cost optimization tools are growing in popularity and can speed up certain tasks like automatically shutting down unused cloud resources. 

Food for thought 

Given this rise of FinOps, would new career opportunities arise as cloud platforms improve transparency with their pricing structures? Could it lead to unique consulting positions that focus on cutting down cloud costs for a specific company?  

The job qualifications needed for FinOps would require not only a broad understanding of cloud products and services but on how companies work as well.  

As long as cloud cost reduction is a priority, then there will continue to be opportunities in the job sector to hire more specialists that solely focus on reducing infrastructure and cloud costs. 

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