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Spend Visibility

Who’s responsible for your org’s cloud spending?

By Leah Weitz on March 19, 2015

From the engineering pod to the executive’s desk, decisions are being made every day that impact your organization’s cloud use. Tags are applied. Reserved Instances are purchased. Instances are turned on, turned off, upsized, migrated. When done right, all of these processes have the potential to strengthen your infrastructure, improve your efficiency, and optimize your spending—but who’s in charge of making sure they do?

Identifying individuals at your company to champion best practices and take ownership over these different processes is key to ensuring that the cloud is leveraged effectively at your company. Each organization is going to have its own nuances, and folks will have their own unique preferences regarding their role and responsibilities, but in the time we’ve spent working with our own users, we’ve identified some recurring patterns. Here’s who we’ve seen successfully championing each practice associated with working through the five stages of cost efficiency.

Who enforces tagging?

Defining a tagging taxonomy and ensuring tagging compliance is vital to making sense of your spending data. This process is often driven by an ops person or other figure in engineering, whose proximity to the process of spinning up and tagging instances enables them to keep close tabs on the effort and ensure it’s done right.

Break out spending by team with Cloudability Cost Analytics

Break out spending by team with Cloudability Cost Analytics

Who monitors spending?

Folks in ops want to make sure everything’s well-organized—but when it comes to allocating and monitoring spending across departments, that’s in someone else’s court. We generally see product owners or folks in finance championing this effort, to ensure that everyone’s spending intelligently without sacrificing performance.

Who’s responsible for usage efficiency?

If optimizing your usage will help trim the bill (and it often does!), you can catch finance’s attention. But usually, a product owner or person in ops or engineering will be most effective—and most motivated—in driving usage efficiency across your infrastructure, from scheduling downtime to phasing out legacy instances.

Who champions Reserved Instances?

Reserved Instance purchasing is generally an all-in effort. However, you’ll usually find somebody from finance in the driver’s seat—the promise of a slimmer bill serves as an excellent point of motivation for these guys. In terms of planning and making actual purchases, finance will likely lean on product owners; these are the folks who know what’s being worked on and what might be phased out, with insight into whether particular areas might not need reservations and whether others definitely will. Passing plans on to the folks in ops who are especially close to the infrastructure will ensure that the plans are consistent with what’s being worked on. Then, finance can approve the budget and the reservations can be purchased.

Track your KPIs with Cloudability Custom Dashboards

Track your KPIs with Cloudability Custom Dashboards

Who provides visibility to stakeholders?

Ensuring that everyone has access to the spending data relevant to their role is key to keeping your teams efficient and accountable. Someone who has a high-level understanding of how different teams work with each other, which groups need access to which AWS accounts, and the priorities of different teams will be well-poised to drive the process of getting everyone set up with the data and resources they need. Oftentimes, we see product owners taking on this role, and setting up custom views, dashboards, and sharing reports with individuals across ops, product, finance, and the executive team.

Who ties it all together?

We’ve discussed who should generally champion each of these processes, but who should ensure that they consistently do? This is where the executives come in. The CXO is critical to putting cloud governance and a culture of cost accountability on the agenda and keeping it there.

Tools for each task

Whether your own org’s breakdown of responsibilities is identical to what we’ve laid out here or turns it on its head, the folks championing these processes could use some resources to help them along the way.

From Cost Allocation Reports to Reserved Instance recommendations, Cloudability has the tools for every stage of cloud management across your org. Log in or sign up for a free 14-day trial to empower your team today.


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