TBMC20: Speakers Discuss Cloud Sessions

Cloud computing was created in the late 1960s, but few companies used cloud computing until the late 1990s. Today, its use is nearly ubiquitous — Gartner research predicts that “by 2022, up to 60% of organizations will use an external service provider’s cloud managed service offering, which is double the percentage of organizations from 2018.” Cloud provides many benefits — scalability, flexibility, security — but the costs, tendency to sprawl, and complexity of billing can be a big headache for IT.

During this year’s TBM Conference, there are more than 30 on-demand and live sessions related to cloud. To get you warmed up for the conference, I’ve reached out to two of the customer speakers to get their thoughts on the state of cloud. The speakers are:

  • Sherri Wooldridge, Cloud FinOps Manager at 3M HIS.
  • Vasily Sakharov, TBM Office, Standard Chartered Bank and TBM Council Executive Advisory Board Member

Tell us a little about your TBMC presentation: 

Q: What can attendees learn from your presentation? Why is it important for you to speak on the topic?
Wooldridge: The journey in cloud governance takes everyone’s attention to be impactful. It can be overwhelming to cycle through the layers of optimization, especially when everyone is trying to learn “the cloud”.  The presentation gives concrete examples of how we started and what the mindset for success needs to be – everyone is accountable.  It is tough when the staffing is small, but there are ways to attack the problems that keep the “village” moving forward. I also feel it necessary to emphasize to leaders that they must empower their FinOps team to work their magic across the business.

Sakharov: The financial services industry has been moving through a massive digital transformation, and the recent global pandemic has set the stage for such transformation to accelerate even faster.

In order to meet client demands for speed, security, and agility; the answer for many organizations lies with cloud technologies.

It has become (painfully) obvious for some early adopting organizations that the cost of cloud computing is not as cheap as was initially expected, and this means cost optimization, cost accountability and management optimization in the cloud space is a big theme for this year. My presentation will walk through our cloud cost management journey this year with tips on how to get started, benefits of starting early, and some of the lessons learned.

Q: How has cloud usage changed post-COVID? What is 3M’s adoption of RIs and Savings Plans pre-COVID vs. post-COVID?
Wooldridge: Even before the pandemic, our division’s cloud usage was changing as we evaluated our portfolio of software products. We have pushed further into savings methods and governing the tagging.  Apparently, our tagging is very good compared to other companies, but as we acquire new businesses and spin up new accounts, the tagging issues re-surface and must be dealt with. We are moving more into Savings Plans, but this was happening regardless of COVID.  Our coverage is high, but could be higher, and we have a measured attack plan throughout the year.

Q: How are cloud initiatives aligned to new business priorities post-COVID?
Sakharov: We can already see how some of our new products are fully cloud native, with many more to follow. For instance, MOX, our digital bank in Hong Kong, and our new global payments system are both fully on Cloud, with more applications being migrated each month.  

Wooldridge: For us, COVID or not, we were starting changes to business priorities related to an acquisition done in 2019, focusing this year on moving those workloads into AWS. So, the volume of accounts and resources has increased, leaving my “team” to keep the costs down via education and pulling savings levers.

Q: Apptio’s customers come from all industries and all over the world. What challenges is Apptio helping 3M HIS solve that are unique to your industry or location?
Wooldridge: Unique? Maybe it’s that we have to keep processing going 24x7x365 for our beloved hospitals and clinicians to get their own revenues secured. So, we can’t just turn off resources to save money ourselves. We really have to maximize our cost controls and use Apptio Cloudability to analyze all kinds of options to do so related to the cloud.

Q: What advice would you give to others grappling with cloud costs?
Sakharov: Once Cloud adoption gathers momentum in your organization, the associated costs can spiral out of control very quickly. It is therefore important to start to embed good cloud cost management practices early in your organizations. My advice is to start early, and don’t wait for costs to get material enough before looking into it.

Wooldridge: Tag, tag, and tag. And enforce it.  And buy a really good cloud analysis tool (Cloudability!) to bring sanity to the data for making decisions on spend.

Q: What are you hoping to learn at TBMC20?
Sakharov: I am looking forward to hearing how other organizations have matured their TBM practices and learn about the challenges they overcome, especially outside the financial services industry.  I am also looking forward to hearing Scott Chancellor’s update on new products in the pipeline for 2021.

Wooldridge: The bigger picture of how Apptio brings value to business.

These great speakers are just a sampling of the sessions available during TBMC20. This year there will be more than 100 on-demand sessions, live keynotes, and interactive roundtables and workshops. TBMC20 will start November 9 and then provide on-demand access for a full year!

Here’s one more reason to register now to go to TBMC20: You can purchase a TBM Council Course and Certification coupon at the lowest prices ever offered. View more information here.

Register now!

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Additional Resources

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The ATUM Poster

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FinOps: A New Approach to Cloud Financial Management

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The Complete Guide to Building a Successful Agile Team

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