Table Of Contents
The CloudZero Optimization Workflow The CloudZero Difference: Contextual Enrichment The Impact Of CloudZero Insights

CloudZero’s overarching goal is to help companies maximize the return on their cloud investment. To do that, it’s essential that engineers be accountable for their cloud costs. They must prioritize cost equal to quality and security and keep costs in check from the earliest days of development through the most advanced stages of production.

Year after year, getting engineers to take action tops the list of challenges FinOps practitioners face. To take meaningful action, the most important thing engineers need is complete visibility into their cloud costs. “Complete” means every cost source, 100% allocation, 100% accuracy, and as close to real-time as possible.

But engineers’ needs run deeper. Managing cloud costs is inherently tricky; the more work it takes to handle basic visibility goals, the less likely they are to prioritize cost management. The easier and more rewarding it is to tackle cost management, the more organizations see engineers taking action.

CloudZero has long had the industry’s most powerful platform for cost visibility. No other platform ingests, allocates, and attributes cloud costs with our level of completeness and accuracy.

We’ve labored to complement this visibility with ease and incentive: reducing the work it takes to incorporate CloudZero into the typical engineering workflow and quantifying the impact of targeted cost management efforts. In short: We’re always making it simpler for engineers to see what they own, how to save, and how much they’ve saved their companies.

The CloudZero Optimization Workflow

Step 1: Collection

Optimization Workflow - Collection

The CloudZero savings workflow is based on Insights, a CloudZero feature that starts the process by collecting all savings opportunities, including automated and human-identified insights. That includes opportunities found by:

  • Cloud providers (like AWS Trusted Advisor)
  • CloudZero’s algorithms, developed through our analysis of billions of dollars of cost data (read our full blog on CloudZero’s automated insights)
  • Your FinOps Account Manager (FAM), who regularly reviews your cloud spend and logs any irregularities
  • Your engineers, as they analyze their cloud costs and log improvement projects in CloudZero

The last bullet includes insights engineers create directly from Explorer views. Engineers typically use Explorer for routine cost monitoring; this function enables them to easily track and log cost issues both as part of their regular work and when they’re specifically hunting for optimizations.

Savings opportunities range in complexity and effort level. CloudZero’s automated insights detect abnormally expensive resource costs — from services spanning databases, logging, monitoring, and more — as well as outdated instances and old snapshots. Human-identified insights can also uncover opportunities for improved architectures and more efficient code.

Merging automated and human-identified savings opportunities gives you the most complete view possible of where you could efficiently cut costs. 

Step 2: Collaboration

Optimization Workflow - Collaboration

Each insight includes meaningful metadata, including estimated cost impact, effort level, and status. Customers use this information to assist in ROI discussions, establish tracking norms across dispersed teams, and facilitate technical discussions between centralized FinOps teams, infrastructure teams, and engineering teams.

Step 3: Tracking

Optimization Workflow - Tracking

CloudZero has a pair of Savings Trackers that automatically quantify the two sides of the savings workflow: before and after savings are realized. Before, insights are added to the “Potential Savings” tracker; after, savings are collected in the “Cost Avoidance” tracker, automatically showing you exactly how much you’ve saved through CloudZero.

The CloudZero Difference: Contextual Enrichment

While first-generation platforms were adept at identifying areas of optimization and making recommendations, the problem was that many of those recommendations were never acted upon because they lacked context.

By “context,” we mean fundamental information like which part of the software the recommendations referred to and which engineers were responsible. Without this information, too many people saw too many recommendations of too little relevance, causing inaction and overspending.

That’s why CloudZero’s approach starts with complete visibility: giving engineers an understanding of what drives 100% of their cloud spend. Because of this, each of CloudZero’s savings insights is relevant and intuitive to address — users can easily see which part of their software is affected, who’s responsible for it, and how to remediate it.

The Impact Of CloudZero Insights

The cost impact of CloudZero insights has a fairly wide range. But on average, early adopters of this new functionality have experienced an annualized savings of $232,000.

“Savings was a major goal for us when we deployed CloudZero,” said Tyler Holbrook, CIO of Symphony Talent, a CloudZero customer. “And CloudZero has over-delivered. Their Insights feature is an extremely intuitive collection of every chance we have to save — and now, with the platform tracking our savings, it’s easier than ever for me to prove cloud efficiency, especially as we scale. Plus, their anomaly detection feature alerts us to cost issues faster than any other tool we have found. One of CloudZero’s mantras is ‘Savings Now,’ and it’s easy to see why; the platform empowers cloud engineers to build cost-effective software. CloudZero has paid for itself many times over.”

All CloudZero customers get immediate access to CloudZero’s optimization workflow. Ready to learn more? Request a demo here.

The Cloud Cost Playbook

The step-by-step guide to cost maturity

The Cloud Cost Playbook cover