Get a demo

OneKloud - Blog

Why AWS gatekeepers kill cloud agility

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 20, 2017 9:50:00 AM / by Sarah de Castro

Sarah de Castro

The great advantages of the enterprise cloud can be summed up as agility and flexibility, two small (ish) words, that give companies the keys to compete on today’s market. The great disadvantages of the enterprise cloud can be summed by in a short sentence “lack of cost control”. And control, agility… make for a contrast… one that creates an expensive issue.

 Enter the enterprise key-holder

Solutions are currently far and few between, one recent way of to “solve” this disaccord and to try to keep control of AWS costs has been for companies to create “gatekeepers”. A guy or girl, or even a small team who hold the magic AWS keys, if a developer or their manager wants their share of the AWS budget they need to get it approved. Thus creating a filter to the procurement of this expensive resource. And hey, we can understand the logic behind this, developers have a habit of using AWS like it was on tap at an open bar, and it’s definitely not them picking up the bill. So what better way to put a stop to this situation which ends in a very expensive surprise at the end of every month and teams that play of a lack of accountability and the fact they are working in silos?

Optimization in reverse

The problem is this is a traditional solution to a very technology generation problem, it’s like applying rotary dial to an iPhone (ahem, “traditional” AKA slow!).

And if fact “solution” isn’t really the word, employing gatekeepers actually eliminates the main benefit of being on the cloud (rather than continuing with in-house iron), agility (ahem, agility AKA speed). Approval processes slow things down, this is a simple fact of life. If a developer needs a resource to do their job, complete a project, satisfy a client, adding a layer of approval, may help keep a predefined budget under control but it takes away from one of the only competitive advantages you may have, speed. Think of the time to make the request, complete some kind of PO, get that understood, classified and Oked. That’s a very costly way to control a budget.

Tech tensions

Yet, putting a gatekeeper in the mix actually isn’t just costly in terms of time. There is a more human aspect, which means this system can put you at a disadvantage: Simple fact of life number two: people don’t like to have to ask approval, they don’t like to hear no and they don’t like to be constrained to rules they didn’t create. This is not a system that fosters accountability, but rather one that fosters resentment.

 An adapted solution

So, what is the solution? Here at OneKloud we look to forecasting to confront the “cost control versus agility” issue. Our solution uses technology to allocate cloud resources to projects, teams and programmers ahead of time, so everyone knows what they have to work with. Thus eliminating power struggles and pesky resentment & frustration building up. In fact, the companies working with our solution find a new level of creative problem solving and accountability.  We take away the need for gatekeepers (ahem & tagging) because of the way the system automates identity access management combined with pre-determined resource allocation.

Cloud cost control

The value of being on the cloud is more about giving companies the potential to make more money than about saving money (at least in the short and medium term). This idea of potential is key, the cloud also offers opportunities for companies to rethink processes and accountability within the workplace. It’s more about creating the right framework for developers to get creative and find the best solution with the resources they have available. And for management to allocate resources “live” to priority teams and projects, according to forecast and demand. Adding a layer of “traditional” procurement process is definitely tempting, especially considering how expensive enterprise cloud can be and how prone it is so misuse. But there is another way around this. Fight tech with tech, not humans. Check us out.

 Get a demo

Topics: AWS, Budget, agile

Sarah de Castro

Written by Sarah de Castro

Cloud-enthusiast and storyteller, Sarah is a content strategist at OneKloud. Explorer of the technology landscape, she boils down technical and complex ideas for everyday digestion (and enjoyment). With an appreciation for sophisticated simplicity, linguistics and branding, she is a global local in Paris from New Zealand.