How to Measure Organizational Accountability: Who Left the (Cloud) Lights On ?

June 17 2013 | by Zev Schonberg Amazon Web Services, Cloud Cost Management, Cloud Optimization, Cloud Provisioning

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When it comes to your electric bill, there are clear indicators of who is racking up costs. Running the HVAC overnight when no one is around or leaving the lights on over the weekend will clearly flag ‘electricity violators’.becon-04-297x300  But in the world of cloud Opex, things are not so simple. Your Amazon bill will give you lots of details about which services you’re paying for, but digging into actual usage throughout the organization is a bit of a challenge.

Viewing Your Cloud through an Organizational Lens

As Cloud Optimization continues to add value by simultaneously bringing down cost and improving efficiency, distributed organizations are taking advantage of AWS as a shared resources environment. But management still needs to figure out how to gain a clear business perspective of each business unit’s activity. While conventional Cloud Monitoring breaks down consumption based on IT resources, it effectively ignores organizational accountability. This type of reporting details hourly usage by instance type or availability zone, but does not include the holistic business perspective that finance managers require.

Cloud Monitoring for Organizational Accountability

As the Cloud matures, management is looking for a way to associate cost with individual business units or projects (as opposed to IT resources which are traditionally under the CIO’s domain). This new approach creates accountability by allocating consumption down to the individual user level. As a result, business units can recycle unused resources, and executives are empowered to make smart Cloud investment decisions. Given an application or team with unusually high Cloud consumption levels, C-level executives can identify the business drivers and make the necessary adjustments – i.e. update the budget or limit Cloud usage.

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