Table Of Contents

Introduction: What You’ll Learn In This Guide

We have a term we like to use when we meet finance teams who have just gotten their biggest AWS bill ever: bill shock.

Bill shock is when finance suddenly rings the alarm that the bill is “too high” and gets everyone scrambling to explain what they’re spending money on. It often happens when the bill reaches a new milestone (the first million, ten million, or hundred million) or growth trajectory (it doubled in a quarter!?).

The problem with bill shock is that it can be highly disruptive.

Engineers are pulled off their roadmaps to investigate costs. Optimization projects are kicked off. Innovation slows as teams become hesitant to spend at the same rapid clip as before.

Then, once a significant amount of money has been saved, the innovation resumes — until next time.

We call this: the vicious cycle of cloud cost billing.

Vicious Cycle Of Cloud Cost Billing 1

However, the problem is that finance often lacks context. They see a large number, without visibility into the business initiatives driving it.

With more granularity and context, finance can be less reactive, ask better questions, and cause less disruption.

In this guide, we’ll cover five important questions finance teams should ask themselves when evaluating their organization’s cloud cost. Then, we’ll discuss how you can better understand, manage, and optimize costs — as well as best practices for operational success.