As a finance manager, you may already know some of the benefits of moving to the public cloud:
Convert large CAPEX purchases to smaller OPEX spend. Many businesses favor small operating expenses over large capital purchases. Public Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services allow businesses to rent computer and storage capacity with no commitment or contract.
No commitment, pay-as-you go consumption model. Pay-as-you-go cloud consumption models allow the business to experiment and try new ideas without needing to make a big financial commitment.
Low cost resources with constantly dropping prices. AWS EC2 Virtual Compute costs have been declining at 17% annually. On premises infrastructure prices are falling too but once you buy the server, you're locked into that price point for 3+ years. Conversely in the cloud, a rented server's may drop every month.
But these benefits can come at a cost:
The smaller OPEX spend isn't predictable. With traditional on-premise infrastructure, the spend was predictable. Spend $3M once every 3 years - no surprise. The CAPEX spend was so large, the business and IT had to plan for growth. The cloud set them free, no planning required! But it also means you have no idea how big next month's cloud will be.
Cloud sprawl with constantly increasing spend. In the "good old days", new projects had to be thoroughly vetted for cost and ROI before they could spend money. A big part of what appeals to the Business and IT is that they can start small, start today and pay-as-you-go. The barrier to entry is very low. This means that with cloud, more new projects are starting more often. Who is making sure that all of the deployed resources are getting a decent ROI? Are they even being used at all anymore?
Prices are dropping, but are you using cloud resources efficiently? Sure, the cloud prices are falling like a rock. And competition among the major cloud providers ensures that whether you use AWS, Google or Microsoft, you are paying at or near the lowest price possible. But who is making sure that you are getting the best price on 2x more infrastructure than you need?
You might need a cloud PhD. The cloud presents some incredible opportunities, and even more challenges. Amazon has over 50 major cloud service offerings, each with a unique metering and billing model. In 2016 alone, AWS released over 1,000 new pieces of functionality to AWS. Even the techies are having a hard time keeping up. How is a finance manager going to juggle all this?
The CLOUD SHIFT Strategies solution:
Leverage our Cloud Portal to simplify reporting. Our Cloud Portal, powered by Orbitera, allows Finance Mangers to view near real time billing data for multiple cloud service providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and more) and accounts (Marketing, development, IT) in a single view. The Cloud Portal supports the following features:
- Billing - Flexible cost reporting and charge-back features. Bill by cost center, cloud account, tagged resources and product categories.
- Dashboards - Access to real-time configurable dashboards and drill down reporting on cloud services being consumed.
- Governance - Provides the ability to govern who has access to consume cloud resources as well as who has rights to request access to new cloud services.
- Analytics - Provide cost optimization reporting around Reserved Instance purchases and security best practices.
- Marketplace - Allows you to provision cloud products from our master catalog.
CLOUD SHIFT StrategiesCloud Portal Dashboard:
Periodic Cloud Spend Optimization Reporting. Just for being a valued customer of CLOUD SHIFT Strategies, we provide periodic reporting of cloud consumption and provide personalized recommendations for optimizing utilization and spend.
Reserved Instance Optimization Services. For predictable workloads, customers can purchase Reserved Instances at a significant discount over the standard pay-as-you-go price. However, deciding when to make an RI purchase takes significant analysis and expertise. Our RI optimization service helps you make an informed RI decision. And if the situation changes, we provide you with the ability to sell current RIs back at the prorated value.