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Why Are Legacy Cost Tools So Frustrating? For A Better Experience, Choose A Tool That Delivers Cost Intelligence, Not Just Cost Reporting

In the beginning of cloud computing, before the earliest cost tools came along to give companies a glimpse into their spending, most businesses found it hard to determine where their cloud budget was going.

The money disappeared into the black hole of the cloud service provider, and in exchange, the business received cloud services. Achieving any sort of granularity beyond that was next to impossible.

When cloud cost tools entered the scene, suddenly business executives and finance departments could see how much money the company spent on things like EC2 or S3 and other relevant categories within the umbrella of their overall cloud spending. At the time, these more detailed reports were a game-changer.

Today, however, most legacy cost tools fall short. It isn’t because their services have changed, it’s because they haven’t changed enough to keep up. Here’s why you’re likely dissatisfied with your current cost reporting options.

Why Are Legacy Cost Tools So Frustrating?

Legacy tools still only focus on reporting cloud provider costs as their main feature. But they often report those cloud provider costs independently of each other, almost as if they were separate products. They also report costs in terms of your provider, rather than your business, which doesn’t help you understand key things like how much it costs for you to serve a certain customer demographic or to deliver your products and services.

While that’s better than nothing, the truth is that simple reporting isn’t enough to keep up with the increasing complexity of most companies’ cloud spending.

For one thing, plenty of businesses contract with multiple cloud providers at once. It’s not very helpful to see all your AWS storage costs listed in one report if you then have to also check your Google and Snowflake cost reports and compile them all into one place.

You’ll be able to determine which provider soaks up most of your budget, but you’ll have no way of comparing the value received from each or deciding how to optimize.

For another thing, cloud costs tend to scale up or down with the size of your customer base and your engineering team.

The more your business grows, the more your cloud cost bills will likely grow as well. If you’ve recently seen an explosion in customer usage, the resulting increase in costs may or may not be acceptable in comparison to revenue. It’s difficult to tell without a way to gather more details.

What keeps legacy cost tools from being as useful as modern cost intelligence solutions is their lack of context in relation to your business.

You don’t just need to know how much you’re spending and where, you need to know why those costs are changing and how you can optimize spending.

If you’re feeling frustrated with your current cost tool, it’s probably because you intuitively know you should be able to break unit costs down further and see how each decision you make in your business affects your spending. The fact that your legacy tool can’t do that is bound to leave you wanting something more.

In short, the world of cloud cost tools has moved so far beyond simple cost reporting that legacy tools just aren’t that useful anymore — and it’s time to make the switch.


For A Better Experience, Choose A Tool That Delivers Cost Intelligence, Not Just Cost Reporting

True cost intelligence comes from breaking down costs into unit economics and understanding how those unit economics correlate directly with your unique business.

You may have questions like:

  • How would it affect costs if the engineering team made a few changes to the cloud infrastructure?
  • Do certain types of customers cost more? Does their revenue make up for the increase in costs?
  • Has the recent increase in spending been offset by a corresponding increase in revenue, or is the higher cost a real problem?
  • Which team is responsible for the most spending? Does the value provided warrant that level of spending?

A cost intelligence platform like the one offered by CloudZero can help you answer these questions and more. You can allocate costs to any number of categories of your choosing, monitor changes, and use the insight you gain to build context around your spending.

It’s probably safe to say that business executives and finance departments have always wanted a way to organize and track spending, but legacy cost tools simply weren’t up to the task. Now, you can see for yourself how cost intelligence puts you in control of your business like never before. !