The Visibility and Insights to Fuel FinOps Hybrid IT Cost Governance and Control

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Explaining the cloud

By Sreeni Maheshwaram, Principal Architect at Kyndryl, Modern IT Operations - Cloud Practice

As organizations accelerate migration of key workloads to hybrid cloud environments, the need for better visibility and greater control over cloud costs is paramount, yet existing tools and practices often fall short when it comes to end-to-end cost management.

Managing public cloud costs is relatively straightforward in a single hyperscaler environment, using provider tooling. But it also poses a practical challenge, as it’s not possible to provide access to far-flung stakeholders and decision-makers across the organization. In addition, the practice becomes far more complex for monitoring and governing spending activity across a multicloud landscape — and even more unwieldy when private clouds and legacy on-premises environments are factored into the mix. Hence, large and mature organizations use comprehensive third-party Cost and Asset Management (CAM) solutions.

Most cloud cost-management tools provide visibility and controls only for that singular environment and seldom support private cloud/hybrid cloud. Organizations deploying dedicated cost management platforms that take a wider view of cloud usage across the hybrid IT estate typically don’t go as far as integrating the tool as part of a broader FinOps campaign, which then limits the impact of the tool.

“There is a whole suite of FinOps disciplines that goes beyond a tool, including financial acumen, cloud engineering, automation, infrastructure as code, and organizational change management expertise,” says Robert Erickson, director, Modern Operations, at Kyndryl. “The tool is just a part of the total FinOps capability.”

The Kyndryl Advantage

As part of the Kyndryl bridge open integration platform, aimed at enabling digital business at scale, the Kyndryl ModernOps framework includes a CAM application. The framework is designed to help companies manage the complexity of cloud financial management through delivery of aggregated and detailed visibility into all cloud usage and spend. By leveraging such a platform, companies can uncover usage trends and inefficiencies, manage timely chargeback through automated cost allocation, and implement more strategic budget planning.

Kyndryl’s CAM solution provides a single interface for visibility across the hybrid cloud estate, including public-cloud-native services and private cloud. Built-in predictive analytics continuously monitor and govern cloud environments for optimum financial management. The platform, which enables policy-based governance rules on cloud usage and spend, delivers a consolidated view that promotes enterprise FinOps practices for monitoring and tracking costs, trends, budgets, and policy compliance.

The CAM solution is surrounded by decades of on-the-ground expertise managing complex IT environments as well as internally developed intellectual property, including artificial intelligence and machine learning models that provide deeper insights. As such, it ingests data across private and public clouds, normalizing and standardizing costs in a way that results in consistent financial management. “This enables organizations to compare an AWS VM with a private cloud VM and measure costs against each other,” explains Kathryn Lin, global offering manager, FinOps at Kyndryl.

In addition to leveraging the CAM solution, Kyndryl experts work closely with organizations to ensure desired business outcomes. Kyndryl experts draw on years of expertise in running and managing cost-efficient IT infrastructure to diagnose and assess the state of an organization’s current hybrid costs, make recommendations, and comanage an end-to-end FinOps initiative based on an individual company’s need. The Kyndryl team can also help a client establish its cost attribution and allocation strategy, leveraging tagging and other practices for cost accountability — a keystone of FinOps.

Kyndryl’s all-hands-on-deck approach is a significant differentiator. “The [CAM] tool makes the job easier, but the hard part is getting the business to use the data and implement the processes to actually govern consumption,” says Erickson. But for companies that can govern consumption, the list of benefits is a long one.

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