Creating a Culture of Cost Transparency and Accountability
AWS Whitepaper

Promoting Visibility, Transparency, and Accountability

In the cloud, it’s easy to get into a situation where the people watching costs are not the same people incurring them. One of the goals of creating a lean cost culture is turning everybody into a cost-watcher. By providing alerts, dashboards, and reports relevant to each stakeholder, you reduce the feedback loop between the data and the action that is required to make corrections.

In addition to giving stakeholders visibility, it’s a good idea to encourage transparency—in other words, let teams see how others are spending—showcasing trends, best practices, and opportunities for improvement. This can help create a shared sense of ownership over cloud costs and incentivize people to minimize them. You can even go so far as to encourage friendly rivalries between teams to achieve higher levels of optimization through gamification.

To achieve true success, cost optimization must become a cultural norm in your organization. Get everyone involved. Encourage everyone to track their cost optimization daily so they can establish a habit of efficiency and see the daily impact of their cost savings over time.

Although everyone shares the ownership of cost optimization, best practices call for someone to take primary responsibility for cost optimization. Typically, this is someone from either the finance or IT department who is responsible for ensuring that cost controls are monitored so that business goals can be met. The cost-optimization engineer makes sure that the organization is positioned to derive optimal value from the decision to adopt AWS. As the organization matures, this role can become a Cloud Center of Excellence responsible for continually driving cost-optimization best practices. For more on developing a Cloud Center of Excellence, see the second whitepaper in this series.