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Why Finance Teams Love CloudZero (Even if It’s Built for Engineering)

|March 2, 2021|

Having trouble connecting engineering decisions to business results? CloudZero  makes it easy for engineering teams to understand their AWS cloud spend (such  as unit cost) to make informed decisions.Click here to learn more.  <https://www.cloudzero.com/>

CloudZero is a platform that helps you understand cost — but that doesn't mean it's purely a finance tool.

In fact, unlike most other cloud cost management and optimization solutions, it’s built for engineering.

However, CloudZero still makes a lot of finance teams very happy.

First of all, the work that engineering teams do while using CloudZero saves money, which every finance team appreciates. But more importantly, it makes it easier for engineering teams to measure and communicate key business metrics that help finance understand where the spend is being invested.

Here are a few of the benefits finance teams get from CloudZero.

1. We Prevent Billing Surprises.

If you’ve been working in the tech industry long, there’s a good chance you’ve been surprised by your AWS bill at least once.

It’s not because your engineering team is looking to overspend — but billing can get really confusing and difficult to predict (even for engineering).

CloudZero gives engineering teams cost guardrails — such as cost anomaly alerts in Slack and easily explorable views of the features they’re working on. This helps them be more proactive with their decision-making while understanding exactly what they’re spending and why.

Engineers are a smart bunch — and want to do what’s in the best interest of their company. But it’s impossible to ask them to control something they can’t see. CloudZero gives them that visibility in a way that makes sense to them and doesn’t slow them down.

Here are three real examples of CloudZero anomaly alerting.

2. We Help You Project How Your Cost Will Change as You Grow.

If you’re a growing company, your AWS bill is probably growing too. That’s not a bad thing.

However, it can be challenging to budget when you don’t know how much it will cost to onboard each new customer — or can’t estimate how much a project will cost you.

CloudZero helps you understand important unit cost metrics, like cost per customer, product feature, and more — making it much easier to estimate how much your total spend will change over time.

Here’s how Remitly did it.

3. We Help Engineering Speak Your Language.

It probably doesn’t help you if engineering tells you that they’re spending money on AWS Lamda, Kubernetes, or EC2 Instances. If you’re not an engineer, that might as well be a foreign language.

You likely want answers to questions like:

  • What does it cost to run the new product we just launched? How will that change as we onboard more enterprise customers? What about mid-market customers?
  • Our freemium offering is too expensive to run per trial. Are there features we can remove or engineering work we can do to improve cost?
  • Which functionality should we charge more for?

CloudZero connects technical decisions and cloud architecture to business results by aligning cost to metrics you actually care about.

Rather than asking engineering to defend their spend, you can have important conversations about where you’re investing money. Then, you can decide which levers to pull to improve your margins — like investing engineering resources into making a feature more efficient, or simply charging more while you keep the headcount focused elsewhere.

Here’s how this data can influence your pricing and roadmap decisions.

4. We Help You Understand How Valuable Your Customers and Market Segments Are To Your Business.

Understanding the value of each of your customers and market segments is key to making better decisions about everything from your pricing model to where to focus your marketing efforts.

If you’re an enterprise SaaS platform, you can combine CloudZero data with your revenue data to see how much it costs to host each customer. Then, you can decide which customers you need to focus on come renewal. Likewise, you can compare cost per customer metrics across different segments.

AWS Quicksight Example

Here’s what Michael Weinberg, an infrastructure engineering manager at SeatGeek, had to say:

“For our financial planning and revenue teams, they get a report that says this is how much it costs to service the Cavs — or a little theater. They can approach the sales or renewal process a lot more intelligently. Having that information without a lot of back and forth is huge for them.”

You can read the story here.

Here are four ways you can use customer profitability metrics.

5. We Keep Your Engineering Team Focused on Building Products — Not Internal Reporting.

You know better than anyone the cost of your engineering headcount. CloudZero helps engineering teams automate cost reporting, so you won’t need to dedicate more FTEs (full-time employees) to managing something that doesn’t add value to your products and features.

One customer told us, “Every time the spend conversation would come up, I’d probably spend six to eight hours over the course of a week fiddling with things, digging into data, and taking different slices.”

Another had three full-time employees dedicated to building a custom cost solution prior to using CloudZero.

CloudZero automates a lot of that work, so engineers can stay focused on other business priorities.

Here’s how we helped put three FTEs back to work on other projects at Remitly.

6. We Save You Money (and Pay for Ourselves).

What kind of finance person doesn’t love saving money? CloudZero helps your team identify unnecessary spend and cut costs. Here are just a few examples:

  • Drift saved $2.4 million annually.
  • Obsidian Security cut spend by 25% within months.
  • FruitLabs reduced cost per video stream (a key business metric for them) by 18%.

Ready To Get Your Cloud Cost Under Control?

Schedule a demo with CloudZero — and don’t forget to invite someone from engineering!

See CloudZero in Action

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