Who should be in charge of managing Cloud Costs?

An informal poll during  a #IACCM (The Global Contract Management Association) event gave the following distribution of who is currently in charge:

I can’t rightfully say this is surprising – it aligns well with our own experience – but it is a big step away from how things were done in the on-premises world. In the old days, if you bought outsourcing services you absolutely would have involved sourcing. And Vendor Management would then likely run things on a day-to-day basis.

What is really interesting here, is that IT Infrastructure teams and Cloud Center Of Excellence’s account for 67% – that’s TWO THIRDS – of those responsible.

Now, IT Ops and COE’s tend to have a core focus and priority that is all about stable operations and fast-deployment architecture. And that is exactly where their focus should be. BUT, when you task people who are more than busy with that, with also being the ones who have to keep up with all the ways you can buy cloud, the discount models, the reservation offerings, and the geographical price differences – not to mention the licensing options, payment plans, long-term contract options etc., you are asking a lot of a very busy team.

As a result, Cloud Cost Optimization will often end up being way down on the list of priorities, and the effort and impact will be limited.

So what to do? Well, in the words of a head of IT Operations at a large SAAS company – Cloud Cost Management is a job in and of itself. It simply takes more time to keep up with ways to save, and analyzing those ways and how it applies to your environment, than someone can set aside on top of other tasks.

If you are a large enough company, it might well make sense to invest in a FinOps (Financial Operations for Cloud) team.

If you are a smaller company, or a large company with a smaller cloud budget, you are going to want to get some help. Because who should be in charge of managing Cloud Cost Efficiency? Someone who has that as their number one priority, and number one task. 

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