Understanding cloud costs on AWS

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When it comes to cloud costs, cloud vendors provide the customer with all the information. This is really important, as they have to be completely transparent with all the costs down to the smallest amount. On one hand, this is fantastic, because it provides the customer with all the relevant information on cloud costs. 

However, this also has the danger of providing customers (who may not understand cloud costs), with too much information at once. The likely result of this is analysis paralysis, whereby a customer doesn’t know what to do with all the information provided. In the world of cloud computing, not knowing what changes to make can be a very costly problem, with both technical and financial teams having to make decisions that will have a large impact on the overall costs. 

The key is to find a solution that builds the bridge between your technical and financial functions, with reporting that is fit for purpose for both sets of eyes. This is where a cloud FinOps expert, like Strategic Blue, helps customers. There is nothing overly glamourous about understanding cloud costs, but it’s one of the most crucial parts of a customer’s cloud maturity journey.

How Strategic Blue can help you understand your AWS cloud costs

Strategic Blue works with a number of AWS customers who have complex internal reporting, the need for charge-back and show-back, or simply want to find a way of understanding cloud costs that isn’t part of the usual package. Strategic Blue helps customers to understand their cloud costs with its Clarity and Transparency services that leverage the QuickSight Dashboard as well as our Clarity Invoice, which provides simplified and unified cloud billing and much more. These services have now become a staple within Strategic Blue’s FinOps services. 

The Strategic Blue ‘clarity invoice’ aims to be a simple, yet effective invoice that is easy to digest and also provides month-on-month trends for a customer’s largest spending services. Whilst the QuickSight Dashboard is the perfect tool to dive deeper into your costs, build cost accountability and track the daily figures to the penny. Both of these together create the perfect ‘cost visibility arm’ for cloud FinOps.

Strategic Blue’s QuickSight Dashboard

The QuickSight Dashboard is brilliant, because it lets both Strategic Blue and their customers deep dive and get creative when it comes to understanding cloud costs. The cloud billing data can be imported into Quicksight, and then the customer defines a dashboard that best suits their needs through regular workshops with the Strategic Blue team. This level of customisation has been extremely popular amongst our customers including Verato and Barton Associates, and has allowed their specific needs to be addressed.

Customers have an array of different needs, such as departments that require specific reporting metrics on a monthly basis. Other customers want to drive accountability across their engineering teams, and use the Strategic Blue dashboards to enforce that visibility on cost. Customers in the Education Sector use the dashboard as a crucial part of their internal charge-back process. Whatever the use case, we’ve found the QuickSight Dashboard to have the ability to be part of the answer. 

If you’re a cloud user that struggles to paint a clear picture about your AWS cloud costs, usage and savings potential, please reach out to Strategic Blue and we’ll be more than happy to provide a dashboard demo and discuss how best we can help your use-case. Most importantly, don’t feel left in the dark when it comes to understanding your cloud costs!

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