Discover how CloudZero helps engineering and finance get on the same team — and unlock cloud cost intelligence to power cloud profitability

Learn more Arrow Arrow

Explore CloudZero

Discover the power of cloud cost intelligence

Why Change Icon
Why Change?

Give your team a better cost platform

Services Icon

Give engineering a cloud cost coach

About Icon

Learn more about CloudZero and who we are

Pricing Icon

Learn more about CloudZero's pricing

Tour Icon

Take a customized tour of CloudZero


Explore CloudZero by feature

Cost Anomaly Detection Icon
Cost Anomaly Detection

Build fast with cost guardrails

Budgeting Icon
Budgeting And Forecasting

Drive accountability and stay on budget

Discount Dashboard Icon
Discount Optimization Dashboard

Manage all your discounts in one place

Dimensions Icon
CloudZero Dimensions

Organize spend to match your business

By Use Case

Cost Per Customer
Cost Per Customer Analysis

Understand your cloud unit economics and measure cost per customer on AWS

Kubernetes Cost Analysis
Kubernetes Cost Analysis

Discover and monitor your real Kubernetes and container costs

Unit Cost Analysis
Unit Cost Analysis

Measure and monitor the unit metrics that matter most to your business

Cost Allocation
Tagging And Cost Allocation

Allocate cost and gain cost visibility even if your tagging isn’t perfect

SaaS COGS Measurement

Identify and measure your software COGS

Engineering Cost Awareness
Engineering Cost Awareness

Decentralize cost decisions to your engineering teams

Cloud Cost Optimization
Cloud Cost Optimization

Automatically identify wasted spend, then proactively build cost-effective infrastructure

Migration Cost Monitoring
Migration Cost Monitoring

Monitor your AWS cost and track progress in real-time as you move to the cloud

By Role

All Your Cloud Spend, In One View

CloudZero ingests data from AWS, GCP, Azure, Snowflake, Kubernetes, and more

View all cost sources Arrow Arrow


Discover the best cloud cost intelligence resources

Resources Icon Resources

Browse helpful webinars, ebooks, and other useful resources

Blog Icon Blog

Discover the best cloud cost intelligence content

Case Study Icon Case Studies

Learn how we’ve helped happy customers like SeatGeek, Drift, Remitly, and more

Events Icon Events

Check out our best upcoming and past events

Cost Assessment Icon Free Cloud Cost Assessment

Gauge the health and maturity level of your cost management and optimization efforts


CloudZero Advisor

Compare pricing and get advice on AWS services including EC2, RDS, ElastiCache, and more

Learn more Arrow Arrow

How SeatGeek Measures Cost Per Customer

Discover how SeatGeek decoded its AWS bill and measures cost per customer

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Skyscanner Creates A Cost-Aware Culture

Learn how Skyscanner decentralized cloud cost to their engineering teams

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Malwarebytes Measures Cost Per Customer

Learn how Malwarebytes measures cloud cost per product

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Remitly Shifts Cloud Costs Left

Learn how Remitly built an engineering culture of cost autonomy

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Ninjacat Combines AWS And Snowflake Spend

Discover how Ninjacat uses cloud cost intelligence to inform business decisions

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Smartbear Uses Cloud Cost To Inform GTM Strategies

Learn Smartbear optimized engineering use and inform go-to-market strategies

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right
arrow-left arrow-right
View all customer stories

Why Cloud Cost Optimization Shouldn't Be Finance's Responsibility

Cloud cost optimization is often reactive, where finance asks DevOps why the AWS bill is so high. We show you another way.

Is your current cloud cost tool giving you the cost intelligence you need?  Most tools are manual, clunky, and inexact. Discover how CloudZero takes a new  approach to organizing your cloud spend.Click here to learn more.

If you’re a cloud architect or engineering lead, chances are you’ve had a defensive conversation with finance about the AWS bill. Maybe it looked a little something like this:

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar, yet understandable from Finance Frank’s point of view. He’s just trying to do his job, but has zero context into which engineering activities are costing the organization so much (or why these costs are variable on a month-to-month basis). That makes the conversation between App Owner Amy and Frank adversarial, when it doesn’t have to be. Frank should be thinking about profit margins and capital allocation, rather than learning about reserved instance (RI) distribution, or the nuances of AWS Fargate pricing. The responsibility of cloud cost optimization should not fall on finance alone. Here’s why:

Reason 1: DevOps Can Proactively Control Cloud Costs

The public cloud model has made buyers out of engineers, whether or not they’ve realized it. Traditional tactics for IT budgeting and cost management are antithetical to building on AWS. Think about it: With AWS, the ability to scale is infinite, so the old server-bound parameters on engineers have been removed. It’s like going to a restaurant and choosing a meal from a menu with no prices. Engineers will pick the filet mignon of AWS services every time (and are sometimes being charged by the bite). They historically haven’t had the data to make a better, cost-informed choice.

Here’s an all too common scenario: Finance consults an outdated cloud cost management solution or monthly invoice, and asks DevOps leadership to login to AWS to investigate the root cause of a cost spike. Often DevOps leaders don’t have direct answers to finance’s questions, so have to ask the engineering product owner what’s happening within their application. Cloud cost anomalies could be a result of any number of engineering actions or simple mistakes. The process of tracing these actions today is inefficient at best, and extraordinarily wasteful at worst.

Rather than a reactive approach, the script should be completely flipped. DevOps should have complete, real-time visibility into the cost of engineering and infrastructure decisions. Cost should be a first-class operational metric and major part of the day-to-day engineering workflow. Instead of playing detective, DevOps leadership can proactively report costs to finance, justify the cost of actions, and project the long-term cost of applications and projects in the pipeline. That way, instead of defensively approaching DevOps teams about spend, finance and executives can focus on setting the right incentives to innovate, while reducing waste.

Reason 2: The Cloud TMI Struggle Is Real

Too much information (TMI) is a very real cloud cost optimization problem. Cloud bills and billing tools are loaded with data that isn’t necessarily relevant to the person trying to interpret what actually went down in any given month. In some cases, a cloud manager is attempting to control costs by adopting AWS budgeting features, but in reality is taking educated guesses around unpredictable expenses like bandwidth, support, RIs, and more. Right now, there’s TMI for anyone to make an informed decision, and not enough targeted information for specific levels of decision-makers.

Instead, different decision-makers should only be able to see cost data that’s relevant to their jobs. For example:

  • Finance: Should have global awareness into the real cost of their systems. This data will provide business context to understand the most and least profitable, innovative, and efficient applications and features.
  • Operations: Should have real-time data on the cost of cloud operations, as well as anomaly detection capabilities to investigate the cost of individual infrastructure resources as incidents happen.
  • Developers: Should have data that correlates cost with the performance of their systems, applications, and features. This data will allow them to build better, cost-efficient systems, and fix any issues with their code in real-time.

Reason 3: Avoiding Development Slowdowns

Few people understand that access to real-time cost data can actually increase the pace of development. There’s a common misperception among developers that building with cost in mind will slow them down. Instead, retroactively chasing down issues when finance raises the alarm on cloud costs is one of the single biggest (yet rarely discussed) operational inefficiencies today.

Development organizations that embrace cost as an operational metric can innovate faster and build more efficient systems. By siphoning cost data into tools DevOps teams already use, like Slack and OpsGenie, developers can observe their applications and fix potentially costly mistakes in real time. Rather than building within nearly unlimited parameters of cloud scalability, developers can learn to use just the capacity they need (and curb unnecessary waste). In time, efficient systems can create found money for the engineering budget that can be reinvested elsewhere (like hiring engineers for serverless transformations).

Getting Real On DevOps Cloud Cost Optimization

Giving the right data, to the right people, at the right time can help DevOps teams avoid defensive conversations with finance, and give finance the information they need to do their jobs. Instead of the buck stopping with finance (pun intended), the responsibility for cloud cost optimization should also fall into the hands of cloud architects and DevOps leaders. All they need are the right tools. To learn more about CloudZero’s cloud cost optimization capabilities, get started here.


Join thousands of engineers who already receive the best AWS and cloud cost intelligence content.