COST02-BP02 Implement goals and targets - AWS Well-Architected Framework (2022-03-31)

COST02-BP02 Implement goals and targets

Implement both cost and usage goals for your workload. Goals provide direction to your organization on cost and usage, and targets provide measurable outcomes for your workloads.

Level of risk exposed if this best practice is not established: High

Implementation guidance

Develop cost and usage goals and targets for your organization. Goals provide guidance and direction to your organization on expected outcomes. Targets provide specific measurable outcomes to be achieved. An example of a goal is: platform usage should increase significantly, with only a minor (non-linear) increase in cost. An example target is: a 20% increase in platform usage, with less than a 5% increase in costs. Another common goal is that workloads need to be more efficient every 6 months. The accompanying target would be that the cost per output of the workload needs to decrease by 5% every 6 months.

A common goal for cloud workloads is to increase workload efficiency, which is to decrease the cost per business outcome of the workload over time. It is recommended to implement this goal for all workloads, and also set a target such as a 5% increase in efficiency every 6 to 12 months. This can be achieved in the cloud through building capability in cost optimization, and through the release of new services and service features.

Implementation steps

  • Define expected usage levels: Focus on usage levels to begin with. Engage with the application owners, marketing, and greater business teams to understand what the expected usage levels will be for the workload. How will customer demand change over time, and will there be any changes due to seasonal increases or marketing campaigns.

  • Define workload resourcing and costs: With the usage levels defined, quantify the changes in workload resources required to meet these usage levels. You may need to increase the size or number of resources for a workload component, increase data transfer, or change workload components to a different service at a specific level. Specify what the costs will be at each of these major points, and what the changes in cost will be when there are changes in usage.

  • Define business goals: Taking the output from the expected changes in usage and cost, combine this with expected changes in technology, or any programs that you are running, and develop goals for the workload. Goals must address usage, cost and the relation between the two. Verify that there are organizational programs, for example capability building like training and education, if there are expected changes in cost without changes in usage.

  • Define targets: For each of the defined goals specify a measurable target. If a goal is to increase efficiency in the workload, the target will quantify the amount of improvement, typical in business outputs for each dollar spent, and when it will be delivered.


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