- Why Change?
Discover the power of cloud cost intelligence.
Give your team a better cost platform.
Give engineering a cloud cost coach.
Learn more about CloudZero's pricing.
Request a demo to see CloudZero in action.
Learn more about CloudZero and who we are.
Got questions? We have answers.
Speak with our Cloud Cost Analysts and get the answers you need.Get in touch
How SeatGeek Decoded Its AWS Bill and Measured Cost Per CustomerRead customer story
Enable engineering to make cost-aware development decisions.
Give finance the context they need to make informed decisions.
Decentralize cloud cost and mature your FinOps program.
Discover the best cloud cost optimization content in the industry.
Compare pricing and get advice on AWS services including EC2, RDS, ElastiCache, and more.
Browse helpful webinars, ebooks, and other useful resources.
Gauge the health and maturity level of your cost management and optimization efforts.
Learn how we’ve helped happy customers like SeatGeek, Drift, Remitly, and more.
Guide: How To Overcome Tagging And Accelerate Cloud Cost AllocationSee guide
The first generation of cloud cost management solutions focused on buying better in the cloud. The next generation will focus on building better in the cloud.
In the beginning, companies and cloud cost management vendors focused on reducing the absolute cost of the cloud. That would be the equivalent of solely focusing on the total cost of a sales organization versus considering how much new revenue they were booking, or the productivity of the sales team or the cost of customer acquisition.
As cloud spend followed its rapid growth trajectory, curbing it most often relied on discounts. Organizations paid upfront for greater discounts or reserved a certain amount of compute usage and paid less than the on-demand price. To complement this strategy, companies eliminate the obvious waste as it does not make sense to pay for something you are not using.
In other words, companies focused on buying better in the cloud, getting as many discounts as possible.
But the upside of buying better has limits. In survey data released 2021, executives estimated that as much as 30% of their cloud spend was wasted. Given the aggregate $410.9 billion of cloud spend last year (Gartner), that’s $123.27 billion of waste!
If you’re using that much more than you should, it doesn’t matter how good a deal you get — discounts alone can’t balance out that magnitude of overspending. Moreover, buying better does not engage the people who are making the usage decisions, the engineers. This has resulted in poor engineering adoption: In a recent survey, 40% of FinOps practitioners listed low engineer engagement as their top problem.
The first generation of cloud cost management solutions focused on buying better in the cloud — carving away portions of overall spend, getting the best price, eliminating obvious waste. The next generation will focus on building better in the cloud.
Where buying better was a financial paradigm, building better is an engineering philosophy.
“Building” refers to every architecture, coding or operations decision engineers make in the process of developing a product and bringing it to market. Until recently, there has been no way to understand the real cost of these decisions, and limited pressure from elsewhere in the organization to consider it.
Buying better focuses on reactive cost-cutting. Building better focuses on building and running efficient software, using cost as a key metric to measure the efficiency.
Striving for long-term efficiency is never a bad idea, but as we enter an era where the “tech industry is bracing for a historic slump”, it’s non-negotiable.
To date, two concurrent phenomena have produced low engineer engagement:
Building better in the cloud addresses both issues. It’s fundamentally targeted at the engineers who develop software, and it equips them with the tools they need for cost-effective innovation.
By delivering information in a language that appeals both to finance and engineering professionals, building better enables strong cross-team communication, making engineers more responsive to (and accountable for) the company’s overall economic health.
The earliest cloud cost management solutions were built for the big three cloud providers: AWS, GCP, and Azure. That’s where companies were spending the most, so from a market perspective, it made sense to build solutions that targeted those areas.
But this isn’t how a software developer thinks. They look for the best overall cloud service, typically within their primary cloud or at specialized vendors outside the big three. It is rare for a single application stack to have services from more than one of the big three. It is more common for development teams to use one as a foundation platform, then pick additional services as they move up the stack. For example:
As time goes on and new pressures emerge, it takes more and more services to build a credible cloud-native application. There’s also cost fallout when organizations adopt a technology like Kubernetes, which is cloud agnostic but only increases visibility challenges. Thus, a cloud cost management product that only focuses on one of the big three providers won’t be able to provide meaningful savings throughout the chain. But a well-built cloud platform will.
Finance teams must both motivate engineers to care about cloud cost management and give them the tools to manage it autonomously. There’s no way to do both things without business context: easily understood information about the financial impact of engineering decisions.
Each specific engineering team must understand how their products, features, and architectural components correlate to use of the public cloud. To do so, organizations need a sophisticated way to organize and allocate their data, combined with telemetry around how people are using the product. (This is the central benefit of a platform like CloudZero.)
This combination allows organizations to unlock cloud unit economics: tying products and features to customer usage or consumer transactions, understanding the profitability of specific customers, and possibly revising pricing models in light of new information.
Rather than conversations focused narrowly on overall cloud spend (“You’re spending too much, you’re going over budget”) the conversation shifts to looking at cloud spend in the context of what’s happening in the business more broadly (“Our cloud costs are outpacing our user growth,” “We’re spending more than we should on our freemium features”). Vague issues cannot be addressed in meaningful ways. But specific challenges, rich with context, can.
Organizations which focus on building better in the cloud acknowledge that the public cloud is not just a part of modern business — it’s the engine. The more smoothly your engine runs, and the cleaner its fuel, the better poised you’ll be to thrive in any business climate.
CloudZero is the only solution that enables you to allocate 100% of your spend in hours — so you can align everyone around cost dimensions that matter to your business.