In this country, optimism is not always the top priority. In this context, the Bitkom figures from January 2020 can probably also be classified: Across all industries, 58 percent of managing directors and board members considered their company to be a straggler when it came to digitization. 37 percent would not be able to cope with digitization, and twelve percent felt that their existence was threatened.
There is now a real danger that all efforts will be directed primarily towards new solutions. Basically, this is not wrong to take the first steps. A healthy error culture is important here: implement quickly, learn quickly and readjust continuously. And at this point it is important not to look back, but at least once to the left and right. Because as desirable as new digital business models are, the necessary cloud services cost money. And with all focus on design and UX, standardization and cost efficiency must not be neglected. In the end, readjustment does not just mean adapting the solution content, but also switching off services that are no longer used, for example – even if only temporarily.
The wild growth previously known in the hardware environment is now sometimes created in the cloud environment, and possibly even more easily. Accenture had published figures in 2019 as part of a study that made people sit up and take notice: Almost two thirds of the companies that migrated to the cloud would not fully achieve their goals – and in 43 percent of these cases, application spills were a reason for this.
Of course, this is unsustainable and must be prevented – especially in view of the increasing competitive pressure. Behind these efforts is the acronym FinOps, which describes cost optimization in the area of cloud operations. As a CIO contribution shows, appropriate best practices for this were sometimes still rare.
In this context, it is remarkable that cloud is “less technology than the economic means of digitization.” With in-depth expertise from the cloud environment and many years of IT consulting experience behind them, impressive and measurable results can be achieved. The best practices used can be as simple as a sensible prioritization for harvesting the famous “low hanging fruits” and as complex as adding AI for advanced optimizations. The three basic levers are not rocket science:
Visibility and control
But how can these levers be used?
Of course, the analysis is also the first step when introducing FinOps. To do this, the current cloud environments must be viewed, comparisons with best practices and a strategy for optimization must be developed. So we literally turn on the flashlight and see what resources are already there. Afterwards, answers to the following questions should be found:
Where are business-critical priorities in processing?
What are the biggest cost drivers and how should they be dealt with?
What can be optimized quickly and easily?
Meaningful dashboards for project managers and board members are just as important as advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to make predictions for future cost developments. At this point it often happens that the initial success is celebrated without establishing continuous governance. But be careful: only those who remain consistent and disciplined can permanently reduce costs. Otherwise there would be a gradual increase. Such a “run phase” can usually be achieved in three months. This means that the OPEX effects can quickly be felt in the balance sheets.
- Robin Parr, Neos
“How strong the impact of Cloud-native is can also be seen in topics such as DevOps: While development and operation grow together as closely as possible in traditional environments, this separation no longer exists at Cloud-native:” Dev “and” Ops “are one and the same person there. “
- Heinz Bruhn, Rackspace
“Cloud-native means more freedom, which goes hand in hand with increased fears among companies – at the procedural, technological and last but not least at the organizational level. To address this, the willingness of the management needs the necessary changes at each of these levels to toast. ”
- Matthias Kranz, Red Hat
“In the discussion with customers, we often take a step back consciously and ask: Why should it be the cloud at all? Based on this question, it is then important to formulate a clear strategy and not simply to do” lift and shift “. This also applies, and above all, to the cultural level: especially in large companies, too rapid a migration leads to uncertainty and resistance. Only when the benefits become clear will the fears disappear. ”
- Rene Funk, Maturity
“DevOps is fundamentally the right approach if it is implemented consistently by the organization – structurally and culturally. Comparisons with traditional methods show that the coordination between supply and demand is faster, error rates decrease and the bottom line is the application TCO is reduced. “
- Marcus Flohr, Delphix
“We can think of processes and technologies as we want: If the right cultural basis is not there, then we run into walls. But we can only create these conditions in a continuous process that affects the entire organization. A spin-off in the form of a Start-ups can often also be an obstacle to development because the innovations generated do not make it to the center of the company. ”
- Simon Fleischer, ConSol
“In the place of technical know-how, cloud-native environments are replaced by business know-how, which emphasizes the benefits of technology. Above all, with regard to the shortage of skilled workers, opportunities arise for many companies. You can wonder what knowledge they really need in the house. “
- Benjamin Treichel, Brockhaus
“The conscientious analysis of processes is an essential success criterion when transferring company infrastructures to the cloud. If the announcement” We are going to cloud now “comes from above, then only” lift and shift “comes out. Only when companies understand They make the leap that migration is a lengthy but worthwhile process, and security is still a major stumbling block.
- Dominic Lindner, ownCloud
“Especially in medium-sized companies, there is often a high level of uncertainty as to whether the high costs and expenses of integrating data into the cloud are worthwhile and where exactly it can be started. Here, with the help of clear use cases, the first approaches to using the cloud are important cost-effective to test. “
Those who follow this path will, for example, be able to streamline subscriptions or identify and switch off unused virtual machines (VMs). Many premium services will also turn out to be no longer necessary. Orphaned managed disks can be tracked down. Experience has shown that savings of up to 30 percent can be achieved.
After such quick wins, it is also possible to optimize demand-driven consumption. This makes it easier to allocate storage resources or introduce auto-scaling mechanisms, for example. In this way, further cost reductions of up to 15 percent can be achieved. Resizing the cloud environment brings up to ten percent more, for example by resizing VMs, disks or services or combining them. The last 15 percent can be tickled out of financial optimizations.
“Evergreen Innovation” can prove to be the supreme discipline in continuous operation. Here, there is an ongoing search for optimization potential with the latest services and resources in the cloud. The services that produce the lowest CO2 emissions and at the same time meet the performance requirements can be used. FinOps becomes GreenOps – a valuable contribution to the current discussion about CO2 reduction.
Reading tip: IT climate killer or climate saver?
Measures, challenges, concepts – all of this is basically not that new. The difference is rather the area of application. In this respect, the more experienced project teams are, of course, a big advantage. Many proven insights and methods can be used to reduce cloud costs through FinOps. Resource-saving operation with GreenOps is therefore no longer rocket science and should be an important part of every cloud project. So: tackle it! It is worth it .. (bw / fm)