Getting your cloud spend to speak to the business in business terms.

When was the last time you had a 360-degree view of how to lower costs and optimize your hybrid and multi-cloud operating environments? To do that, with an aim for more robust control and greater operating efficiency, we turn to a recent webinar hosted by IBM Platform Engineering Offering Leaders: Rodrigo Flores, Senior Partner, and Jay Cuthrell, Partner.

As both noted throughout the conversation, as they see cloud consumption grow, they also see significant cost overruns. On average, organizations waste 30% of their IT spending due to underutilization and lack of visibility and governance. One-third actually have cloud budget overruns of up to 40%, equating to more than $100 billion in global cloud cost overruns over 3-years. *

These points are further synthesized in a quote from Microsoft Chairman & CEO, Satya Nadella *

“Just as we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we are now seeing them optimize that spend.” 

This is a problem that warrants investigation and resolution. Yet, who will examine this in your company? Where will they look? With whom will they talk? What will they ask them? What will they do when they get an answer?

Who is playing the cloud spend shell game today?

The core of this problem lies in the need for more transparency and insights from the cloud providers’ bills at an enterprise level. To read, understand, analyze, and attribute these invoices, significant expertise and domain knowledge are required. With frequent price changes and billing data that is impossible for humans to read, stakeholders from different departments struggle to understand why cloud bills are unexpectedly high.

What FinOps questions and comments do you hear?

Playing this game is no one person’s official, full-time job. There may be somebody in procurement that gets the bills. By default, they begin their fruitless attempt to determine which department, project, application, and owner the invoice belongs to. It’s like a game where you try to guess which cup a ball is hidden under.

The procurement team may also step up to spend some extra time attempting to identify some trends across multiple bills to evaluate whether or not the company is getting the discounts and credits promised when the teams signed up for the service.

Somebody must keep a watchful eye on this, yet it is far too complex for the procurement team to deal with on their own. In some organizations, we end up seeing developers, cloud architects, financial analysts, and executive teams coordinating efforts in an attempt to function like a FinOps specialist. Based on the analysis presented earlier — and with even more presented in the webinar — it’s clear this method is failing.

Turn to a FinOps partner for the best optimization outcomes

One solution to the problem of cloud cost optimization is to approach it through the lens of an experienced managed service provider with a history of optimizing complex, hybrid, multi-cloud environments.

With a cloud cost optimization advisory (CCOA) program from IBM, the team will combine various tools, best practices, and expertise to understand how your organization can manage your cloud resources and optimize consumption patterns with clear fiscal objectives in mind. It’s important to note that the advisory service offers rapid and non-intrusive integration into your cloud environment. It does not require installing software or agents, only limited access to billing data

This advisory process is an enduring, recurring, and continuous one rather than a one-time fix. Rodrigo and Jay emphasize that it goes against best practice to tackle cloud cost optimization as a one-time heroic effort. Instead, it requires ongoing attention and work to make sense of your organization’s cloud billing to optimize your cloud usage for long-term success.

Identifying the savings adjustments is only half the battle. The CCOA service from IBM also provides extensive automation and tooling for ongoing monitoring and reporting, offering services for managing monthly billing, invoicing, cost, location reconciliation, and credits/discounts.

The numbers speak for themselves; they should also speak to you

An advisory program delivered for Dennis Self, CEO of Acoustic, was also highlighted in the webinar, demonstrating the value he experienced because he decided to partner with IBM. Self was quoted:

“IBM’s cost optimization strategies helped us right-size our provisioning of cloud services resulting in seven-figure savings.”

These are some of the results from the program at Acoustic:

    • In less than one month, IBM optimized the use of AWS spot and reserved instances resulting in $1 million in annual savings
    • 95% reduction in Azure infrastructure provisioning; $1.2M in annual savings
    • 40% improvement in system performance by moving to Azure Data Lake Gen2 PaaS

If you’re ready to stop playing the cloud cost shell game and better optimize your cloud spend, catch the entire on-demand webinar with Jay and Rodrigo at on-demand webinar and don’t miss exploring to learn more about IBM’s platform engineering and CCOA services.



* All sources cited in this post can be found in the on-demand webinar