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Building a cost-efficient organisation with cloud cost optimisation: challenges and solutions

Your business depends on cloud. Today that is almost a given. After all, the whole purpose of cloud is to make your life easier and your business better – it enables growth, helps you capitalise on the promise of new technologies and get out ahead of your competitors. For one technology that is lot to live up to. Especially when you consider the true value of cloud is often missed because managing cloud costs is harder than anticipated.  

Hence the need for cloud cost optimisation. Or, as we at Capacitas like to think about it, building a cost-efficient organisation. We are specialists in helping organisations reap the true value of their cloud estate – increased agility, cost-effectiveness, stability and high levels of performance – in a sustainable way. We talk about our approach to more thoughtful cloud cost optimisation here.  

The focus of this blog is the challenges you may face in building a cost-efficient organisation. The first thing to recognise is that your entire business is likely to change. As with many processes in the technology sector, cost optimisation isn’t a one-and-done exercise. It is about saving money now and into the future – in a way that is easy to maintain. How? By transforming the way your business views cloud, the costs associated with the technology and how it is provisioned. 

Yes, we are talking about a cultural transformation, led from the top down and requiring buy-in from all stakeholders. This more thoughtful approach to managing cloud spend – thoughtful because it is developed and carried out looking at the bigger picture and keeping future considerations in mind – will enable your technical and engineering teams to make informed decisions and better prepare for upcoming uncertainty.  

The major challenge here: people. Apart from the fact people are naturally averse to change, this transformation is a permanent change in behaviour. Your staff needs to be fully onboard with the programme otherwise embedding a culture of cost-efficiency within your organisation will be problematic. Securing executive sponsorship from a leader in your organisation who can champion the programme will go a long way toward success. In addition, we always advise two things: structure and communication.  

In our experience, the following should be considered: 

  • Share the goal. The approach, plan or programme should be a formal one with an informed goal that is communicated to all stakeholders. Those involved should understand what the goal is, how it was developed and why it is important. 
  • Empower and understand. Making changes and reducing costs isn’t just about the savings. The whole process should be geared towards empowering your engineers and technical teams with a deeper understanding of their system, what is driving cloud costs and where the inefficiencies are. In this way, cloud costs become another valuable metric along with infrastructure data. 
  • Upskill and optimise. Just as cost management is an ongoing process, so too should learning. Cost optimisation can help your engineers and technical teams hone existing skills or gain new ones in the process of finding cost reduction opportunities and identifying system health improvement areas. 

Beyond this, we focus on partnership and collaboration. It’s about building relationships from senior leadership through to engineering team, and demonstrating how cost-efficiency actually makes their live easier and their service more stable.  

This is what we suggest: 

  • Use data to give your leadership team access to deeper cost and capacity management insights through the use of data. Importantly, put the figures and insights into context – show them exactly how costs can be optimised and how they will improve decision making.  
  • Use a proven methodology to perform a comprehensive cloud analysis – work with your teams to look at cost, performance and utilisation within a timeframe. Go beyond the use of the traditional tools to uncover more substantial savings and debunk myths around incidents and excess capacity. 
  • Use your recommendations to design and implement a programme to deliver identified optimisation opportunities. Deliver value through a phased approach; prioritise the optimisation opportunities to build trust with your team and building a foundation from which to work on complex solutions. 
  • Use a standard data analysis model (we use Ramp Zero Flat (R0F)) across teams and technologies to create a standardised approach to deliver safe optimisations and increase reliability. 
  • Use data-driven capacity planning – in collaboration with finance and engineering – to deliver accurate forecasting of future usage and cloud costs. 

How we do it 

The Capacitas Seven Principles to building a cost-effective organisation – awareness, time/prioritisation, observability, understanding, confidence, product and predictability – will help in establishing a framework from which to transform. It has worked to great effect with our customers and we welcome the chance to discuss how we can help you. 

If you’d like to learn more about our approach or how we can help your business on its way to cost-efficiency, get in touch with a member of our team today. 

Find out more about cloud cost optimisation and building a cost-efficient organisation, download our whitepaper.