Habit #3 Daily & Weekly cost & asset check-ins and accountability

Written by Aditya Datta


Are you concerned about getting an unexpected bill surprise at the end of the month?

With the right setup in place and the right tooling, you can get the relevant team notified about any unexpected charges in a timely manner, and gather their feedback.

Habit #3 Daily & Weekly cost & asset check-ins and accountability

Teams need to be able to spin up the infrastructure they need to support speedy delivery. This can often lead to unexpected billing surprises at the end of the month. With decentralized control, cost anomalies can result from:

  • Runaway processes & accidents
  • Unexpected marketplace purchases
  • Leaked API keys leading to attacks

With enterprise scale cloud adoption across many different teams and stakeholders, it was hard for our customers to identify and classify any new costs.

How do we address it?

Our solution is to identify the cost variance on a daily, weekly and rolling monthly basis. But what scope should this analysis be performed at? Individual resource level monitoring can be very noisy and practically useless to manage; and a budget level analysis loses a lot of details.

With the setup for success in Habit #2, you can automatically identify the teams that are responsible for costs of any infrastructure and ask for their feedback using Cost Categories that tie resources to a specific team and its Slack channel (or any other communication). For example, the cost category Engineering_Teams identifies which team is associated with a given resource for the Acme, Globex, Soylent and Hooli product teams.

Automated cost variance analysis of the costs of Acme will identify any unexpected change in costs for Acme and deliver this information prompt and directly to Acme team’s Slack channel. They can then provide feedback if:

  1. The cost is expected.
  2. The cost is unexpected and detailed reasons can be captured or corrective actions can be triggered.

We perform this analysis daily, weekly and monthly for our customers. High variances requiring immediate attention are sent to online channels like Slack, and others can be presented in emails, or dashboards.

Capturing this feedback from the teams can stop the leak promptly and acquire details for root cause analysis and better decision making.

Distribute & Centralize

Distribute the information and decision making to each of the individual teams via Slack. This way, they have an easy way to provide feedback with the click of a button as opposed to having to log into yet another cloud management application.

Combined with centralized dashboards to review each team’s response metrics, you can get a centralized view of your cost variance trends.

Summary

By automating cost control, your organization enables teams that need resources to have the responsibility of their costs without needing an army of FinOps team members running around with spreadsheets.

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