Your business has finally migrated to the cloud. Reliable IT is the new normal, you’ve dropped human resource costs and washed your hands of those capex hardware investments every three years. Happy days, right?
Not so fast. You’re three months into your cloud journey and your CFO is worried. She’s seen the AWS bills and projected costs forward for the year. It doesn’t look good.
When businesses first move to the cloud, the configuration of their systems often mirrors how they were before the move. Sure they work fine, but they don’t work efficiently and it’s that expensive inefficiency that your business is likely paying for.
AWS has a heap of smart services that your business can take advantage of to optimise the efficiency of your systems and the bill that’s delivered to your inbox every month.
The aim of this guide is to show you a what’s possible and present you with actionable approaches you can take to optimise your AWS services and save money.
Every chapter has been written with non-technical language and analogies that business leaders (CEOs, CFOs and business owners) will not only understand but be able to drive real action from.
This is by no means a technical deep-dive, but IT people out there might find it useful too. Why? Well, because knowing how something works isn’t the same as understanding the broader concept (which in turn helps you get better at the how). You’ll get that from this guide.
Before you start, take a note of your AWS bill as of today. If you read this guide and implement each approach, you’ll see a difference of at least 10%.
Naturally, the less you’ve sought to optimise your AWS services, the more you’ll gain from the approaches that follow.
If you get to the end of this guide and find you’ve genuinely considered and implemented each one, you should pat yourself on the back and tell your boss to shout your next lunch – you’re in the minority.
Before any cost optimisation work can begin, it is absolutely critical that you tag your AWS resources. Tags help you to make groups or categories for your AWS resources, which are then used to produce insightful billing reports. You can skip this chapter if you like, but we highly recommend that you read this before going any further.
You probably only need the lights at home for a couple of hours each evening, so imagine leaving them on all day and night just for those brief moments. Now imagine your electricity bill (not to mention the environment)!
Before the cloud, your business would purchase its own computing power. Simple enough, but what you’d end up doing is attempting to predict what your business would need years down the track. If you’re doing this on the cloud, you’re doing it wrong.
Computers can only process so much information at any one time. If it were up to them, we’d all take it in turns to make sure they can take care of our needs. But people don’t like to use computers that way. We like to use them in bursts as we need them, and so we end up paying for enough computing power to cater for the bursts, even when they’re sitting idle. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?
You’ve moved your business to AWS, so you have a degree of certainty that you’ll be using AWS services for the coming twelve months and beyond. The more certainty you have, the more you stand to save. How much? Well, between 30% and 75% of your AWS bill. That’s how much.