Merging two companies into one comes with several challenges. One of the most formidable endeavors is maintaining control over cloud costs while a cloud-to-cloud integration — essentially, taking the cloud environments of two companies and combining them into one — is taking place.
One or both companies may not be tracking cost data, and even if they are, it’s highly unlikely that their cost-tracking strategies line up well enough to merge seamlessly.
Unless you’re prepared for a potentially years-long journey of manually managing costs during a cloud-to-cloud integration, you’ll need the help of a third-party cost allocation platform such as CloudZero.
With CloudZero, you can blend together the cost data of both companies and achieve immediate control over your costs, even while the technical details of the cloud integration are still underway.
Here’s what you need to know to make cloud cost integration a seamless process using CloudZero.
Managing Costs During Cloud-To-Cloud Integration
Get immediate cost data no matter how long the merger takes
SaaS business leaders know how tricky it can be to develop a cohesive tagging strategy for cost allocation. Even in one single company with a relatively mature cost optimization protocol, tags are unlikely to be perfect.
There are always going to be misspelled tags, multiple versions of the same tag, and some pesky resources that can’t be tagged at all.
Managing a tagging strategy for one company is hard enough, but the idea of merging two different strategies into one can be overwhelming. Teams of engineers would have to spend months or longer going through tags and resources by hand when they could be doing something else.
For a time, this means putting other, more important projects on the back burner right when the period of upheaval from the merger is at its strongest.
These projects will then have to be picked up at a later date and perhaps introduced to a new team who has no experience with them. All this means that a merger may actually set companies back for a while, even if the original intent was to drive further growth and innovation.
The way around these problems is to use a platform that allocates costs automatically, regardless of tagging.
If you set CloudZero up to ingest cost data from both companies, it can present a comprehensive report on both companies’ costs in just hours.
That way, even if it takes months or years to combine both systems into one fully integrated cloud environment, you don’t have to spend any of that time flying blind without cost data.
In principle, you can operate with two sets of cost data just as efficiently as you could if you were only dealing with one company, so the urgency to figure it all out right away is no longer an issue.
Gradually reallocate costs at your leisure
During the course of your cloud-to-cloud integration, you might be moving from AWS to Azure or GCP, or the other way around. You might also be examining completely different services within one cloud and determining the best ones to keep and let go of as the newly merged company moves forward.
These migrations and integrations take time, effort, and a considerable amount of decision-making.
Once you’ve configured the CloudZero platform to track costs from both separate cloud environments, you can begin working on consolidating those costs into one view. Like integrating cloud environments, fully merging costs will also take some time.
If you’re using CloudZero, slow progress is perfectly okay. Since you already have a full picture of your cloud costs from both cloud environments, you’re not losing out on any opportunities to optimize costs. In fact, using the data gathered from CloudZero, you can actually make strategic infrastructure decisions faster and with more data to back them up.
You can take the migration at your own pace, moving costs from one environment to another — and, similarly, from one dashboard view to another — one by one. Over time, you can watch your costs in one dashboard view slowly migrate over to the view that will become the main dashboard for your new organization.
In the case of an acquisition, you’ll see the costs from one company slowly dwindle and the costs for the new parent company swell to accommodate the new demands.
If your company has merged with another to create a third entity, you might create a third dashboard for costs that have already been combined. You can watch the data within the third dashboard grow over time as the data from the prior companies gets phased out.
Keeping an eye on this movement can give you a clear visual representation of how much you have left to merge, and serve as a reminder if you’ve forgotten to merge a particular set of resources.
If, for example, you expected the costs for one feature to completely disappear under the umbrella of the old company but you’re still seeing a charge for $1,000 per day allocated to that feature, you’ll know right away that something critical has been overlooked.
Happily, this means you’re in no danger of accidentally leaving two sets of the same resource active and wasting money for months without realizing it. You’ll see clearly which costs from the old companies are still lingering past the point of usefulness.
Send real-time updates to all team members
In most companies, as the cloud computing integration process progresses, there will be an extended period of confusion for employees. It’s hard to avoid the murky gray area where teammates aren’t sure which infrastructure is currently being used and which aspects have been shut down or reimagined.
To help clear up the confusion, you can configure CloudZero to send cost updates to all team members. Each person will receive a notification of the current costs associated with their project, and they can log on to the dashboard to see their cost contributions in detail.
This feature is helpful even during times of normal operation, but during a merger it can be especially crucial.
If an employee notices, for example, that costs have increased under the umbrella of the old company, he or she can see where those costs are coming from and quickly make the switch to the newly chosen infrastructure instead.
You can also set up notifications that will alert team members when a certain piece of infrastructure has been decommissioned. They’ll be constantly up-to-date even if they don’t log on every day to watch costs gradually move from one dimension to another.
CloudZero Becomes Even More Powerful Once The Merger Is Complete
Once you’re ready to move forward under the flag of the new parent company, you can direct your efforts toward long-term cost optimization. With the cost data you’ve gathered from the very beginning, you’ll be well-prepared to find opportunities for reserved instances, savings plans, and better infrastructure options.