Habit #2 Setup for Success

Written by Aditya Datta

With maximum savings from Reservation already in place with Habit #1 “Set the guardrails to kick off the financial (RI & SP) management on Autopilot”, it’s time to make a choice for the rest of activities.

Work harder and manage ongoing cost hygiene with a tool
Work smarter with automated spend management

In this article, I would like to share with you on which early strategic investments to make and tidy up your IT assets to unleash the ongoing savings.

Habit #2 Setup for Success

If you are in the airline industry, your needs for cost management are very different than if you are in the business of selling bananas. Cloud expense management needs to map to your business and organizational processes for it to be successful.

The best part about these savings:

  • Asset Responsibility Matrix Ability – to get any cost anomaly information delivered directly to the team(s) responsible for the infrastructure enables faster responses to take corrective action. Systematically connecting infrastructure Tags with communication channels for the right team(s) is imperative when enabling automated cost governance.

A few more tips:

  • For any given asset, it should be easy and fast to identify who is responsible for it, peripherally the team via its slack channel/teams/email.
  • Identify which team will be responsible for the cloud cost. Will it be the business unit or will it be the technical team? Is it an internal service?
  • Create a mapping between the Organization hierarchy and the Cloud resources.
  • Use your existing Mapping of Cost Centers with owners integrated into your cloud costs to simplify the process.

Mapping of Cost Centers with:

  • Slack/Teams service accounts and channels.
  • Jira projects and IssueTypes
  • ServiceNow projects
  • Create a company-wide Tagging policy: Consistent tagging is difficult to get right for a large dynamic organization. Having automation in place to enable identification & remediation of tag gaps & inconsistencies is key to success.

A few more tips:

  • A good Asset manager like ours with bulk tag management is helpful in cleaning up the tags.
  • Consider implementing AWS Config (account per account), Tag Policies (organization-level) for compliance reporting, or even Service Control Policies to enforce. Just fyi, not all the services support taggings on creation.
  • Create a naming convention and follow it. It would be interesting to read the AWS Tagging Best practices document.
  • Standardized incoming billing files From multiple master accounts and cloud providers enable you to get a global view of all your infrastructure expenses and opportunities.

A few more tips:

  • Sometimes there are requirements to have invoices for different companies. That’s especially true for big companies having subsidiaries in different countries.
  • While consolidation into the same AWS Organization/master account would allow access to a volume discount, that might not always be possible. In that case, a global view will help.
  • When having different Cloud providers, the costs should be standardized mapping the equivalence of the services.

Thanks for working though some thick nerdy cost expense talk – next up I will share how this upfront investment pays off.