Matt Gerow AWS Savings in the Cloud 2023

Maximizing cloud cost efficiency: Apptio’s role in commitment-based discounting

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These days, the cloud cost optimization landscape has emerged as an important topic for customers. It was a key area of focus during theCUBE’s coverage of today’s AWS Savings in the Cloud event.

For Apptio Inc., commitment-based discounting is a “critical component” of that landscape. If the goals of optimization are to make sure that every dollar spent goes as far as possible and as effectively as possible, commitment-based discounts become an important component of that, according to Matt Gerow (pictured), manager of principal product management at Apptio.

“It’s something that FinOps teams really need to think about,” Gerow said.

Gerow spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Lisa Martin at the AWS “Savings in the Cloud” event, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed Apptio’s role in maximizing discounts and the value of commitment-based discounts. (* Disclosure below.)

Automating and managing

At a high level, Apptio aims to do a number of things for customers in order to maximize discounts, according to Gerow. The first aspect is in providing visibility into the spending that organizations have, how effectively that spend is being deployed, and what those optimization opportunities look like.

“For the organizations that want to take that a step further and trust Apptio to automate and manage some of those commitment-based discounts, we take that on,” Gerow said. “We can do that in a pretty unique way.”

Ultimately, the company seeks to step in where organizations need help and where they’re at in their levels of FinOps maturity. But there’s also a role for third-party tools in this equation. AWS provides a “tremendous” amount of transparency and granularity in billing and usage, according to Gerow.

“Ultimately, there’s always going to be a lot of different perspectives, goals, etc., that come into how organizations want to manage, want to optimize and plan their spend,” he said. “That’s really where third parties can help, because they can tailor those solutions to the needs of the very specific organizations as opposed to the breadth that AWS needs to provide, which is a solution that works for every organization, every potential customer.

Leaning on automation

When it comes to automation, Apptio has also sought to provide solutions, including through Cloudability Savings Automation for cloud consumers looking to automate key FinOps processes and maximize cost efficiency. There are many benefits when it comes to automation, according to Gerow.

“From one perspective, it’s just response time. FinOps teams have a lot on their plate. They’re asked to do a lot, they’re asked to coordinate and work across so many different application teams, and across geos, and across business units — having visibility into those organizations and what they’re doing and who’s spending what can be challenging.”

Automation can help there, just by taking things off their plate as organizations try to do more with less, according to Gerow. The other aspect here is that one could take a very different approach when automation comes into play, as it helps one operate at scale.

“You can sort of think about your approach to commitment-based discounts a little differently,” Gerow said. “Traditionally, the way that the model tends to work for FinOps teams, especially early in their journey, is that you’re monitoring Cost Explorer or monitoring Cloudability, and you see an increase in spend.”

There might be some on-demand usage that has popped up, and someone may look at the tags to see who is responsible and what’s going on. From there, one could determine if a particular database or compute instance is going to be around for a while and understand some of those future plans.

“Then, ultimately, kind of weigh that against opportunities for savings and then decide on commitments and whether that’s committing to a specific resource or committing to a spend level via savings plans,” Gerow said. “Ultimately, it tends to be a reactive portion of the feedback loop. What automation allows you to do is be proactive.”

When companies build aspects of flexibility into that and does that at scale via automation to ultimately construct that savings instrument portfolio in a different way, that allows flexibility to be built in, according to Gerow.

“Instead of needing it to be a multi-person feedback loop of that FinOps practitioner going to talk to an application owner to understand what those future plans are, you can just react in real time,” he said.

Here’s the complete video interview with Matt Gerow, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS “Savings in the Cloud” event:

(* Disclosure: Apptio Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Apptio nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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