March 24, 2021
While it might seem like the responsibility of cloud cost optimization should fall solely on the finance team, the range of responsibilities requires more teams to be involved. To really understand the scope of these cloud responsibilities, we first have to understand the difference between cloud governance and cloud management.
For starters, you can’t have one without the other. Cloud governance refers to the establishment of policies as they relate to cost optimization, resilience, security, and compliance. Meanwhile, cloud management is the orchestration of all the policies, which makes sure cloud assets operate under the established rules.
Due to the nature of cloud governance and cloud management, responsibilities are cross-functional. Many different variables affect costs, so the responsibility of cloud cost management is spread out across an organization.
Many organizations struggle with cloud cost optimization because they treat optimizing costs as a finance issue. In reality, organizations must take a collaborative approach to effectively optimize cloud costs with strategies involving, at a minimum, the operations, finance, and engineering teams, and it must happen continuously.
In a lot of cases, business teams and executives can also help manage cloud costs. Business teams need to be able to track the impact of cloud spending and understand ROI. Though the operations teams are the ones that make decisions that affect IT costs more directly because they are primarily responsible for establishing cloud governance.
Engineering teams must know the cost of deploying resources, and finance teams need data related to costs for accounting and reporting. Oftentimes operations and engineering teams are able to provision resources autonomously; this coupled with fast consumption makes it a challenge for businesses that are trying to optimize cloud costs.
What might seem like micro purchases to the operations teams might actually result in organizations spending more on the cloud than they need to in the long run. When building and managing resources, these teams are more concerned with speed and performance and less with cloud costs. How can we challenge this?
Stakeholders involved in cloud cost optimization — more specifically, operations, engineering (DevOps), and finance — need tools to take on the responsibility of understanding and managing IT costs.
This begins with having visibility into cloud costs. Cloud providers provide an array of services to give you visibility into your cloud costs. One example is Amazon’s CloudWatch, which is a monitoring service for applications running on AWS.
However, the visibility from built-in services from cloud providers like AWS might be limited, too complex, or too time-consuming to decipher on the spot. Cloud cost optimization tools that specialize in cutting down costs can break down complicated parts of cloud bills, which can be highly beneficial to your entire team.
Operations teams should have complete visibility into all aspects of their cloud infrastructure , including all engineering costs. By having cost at the forefront of the everyday engineering workflow, they can report costs to the finance team and justify their expenses. They can also set up long-term cost projections of applications themselves when building them.
By creating a streamlined cost analysis through cost visibility, business and finance teams can focus on other important tasks while ensuring that they are not overspending on the cloud.
Having the right information is crucial to making informed decisions across all different departments. When cloud bills become too complicated to assess, a cloud optimization tool can help unravel them so that you can understand them and subsequently make cost cuts.
Tools like Grumatic’s CostClipper provide advanced cost intelligence so that you know exactly where and how to save on cloud costs. Cloud cost optimization tools can be combined with your cloud strategy so that your team can collectively identify recommendations on spending and other optimization tactics.