Policy Driven Rightsizing – Enabling Engineers to Take Action with Apptio and Atlassian

Apptio is excited to announce the launch of policy driven rightsizing, a closed-loop integration between Cloudability and Atlassian’s Jira Service Management/Jira Software that helps enterprises manage the full lifecycle of rightsizing tasks and seamlessly measure impact.

Building on our partnership, with this release mutual customers can address the biggest unsolved pain point identified by FinOps practitioners in the 2021 State of FinOps report - getting engineers to take action, and in turn, improve the economics of running cloud.

 

 

Optimization – an important FinOps phase

A combination of factors, including the global pandemic, is accelerating the shift to public cloud as businesses turn to scalable, on-demand infrastructures to better support business continuity and cost efficiency.

In fact, in a recent update to their analysis, Forrester revised their previous prediction that the public cloud infrastructure market would grow 28% to reach $113.1 billion in 2021, increasing their growth prediction to 35%, or $120 billion, as COVID-19 has forced companies to prioritize speed and customer experience (CX) over cost savings and efficiency — and move to public cloud faster than ever.

Understandably, the FinOps Foundation and its operational model are growing in prominence as more organizations look to bring financial accountability to the variable, consumption-based spend model of cloud. By continually driving smart business trade-offs between speed, cost and quality, these organizations can avoid pitfalls around budget overrun or unpredictability and build confidence that their cloud program drives reliable business value.

Within the FinOps framework for cloud financial management, there are three high-level phases that activities are grouped into, in this order: Inform, Optimize and Operate. Optimizing, both through financial and usage measures, is focused on actions that reduce the operational cost for delivering each unit of business value.

For DevOps engineers, this largely means a focus on optimizing cloud usage itself – selecting resource types that are well-matched to workload requirements, addressing idle resources, and generally scaling infrastructure to match demand.

Given the importance of this role, it’s striking to note that the 2021 State of FinOps report, with feedback from over 700 enterprises, found that the “biggest unsolved pain point or challenge” was “getting engineers to take action.”

What’s holding back our engineers?

While reducing costs may not be the most thrilling activity for technical staff, competing priorities and disjointed processes are more likely the culprits rather than a lack of motivation.

It’s also worth noting that optimization best practices already have a level of maturity within the FinOps movement and sophisticated tools like Cloudability are available to guide DevOps engineers towards cost-saving actions, so we shouldn’t be blaming a lack of quality insights.

In terms of priorities, there will always be tension when delivering software between speed, cost and quality. Naturally, in a world of deadlines and customer expectations, speed and quality will often take precedence – if delivering on time means spending more on cloud, then engineers may be left with little choice.

What is clear is that the effort involved in optimizing for cost cannot be onerous - from analyzing recommendations to implementing the change - and will preferably be guided by well-understood processes.

Furthermore, without clear markers for when an optimization activity is worthwhile, engineers are unlikely to bridge this gap.

Connecting insights with business processes

Solutions from both Apptio and Atlassian help companies address this issue. At Apptio, significant investments have been made, expanding recommendation coverage and improving confidence to enhance the likelihood that rightsizing actions will be taken. Atlassian is uniquely placed to help solve these challenges as the leading project tracking and workflow solution for agile software development and high-velocity IT service management.

With this in mind, the two companies announced an expansion of our joint work last December. As a result of the collaboration between the two groups, we are excited to announce the general availability of policy-driven rightsizing, a closed-loop integration between Cloudability and Jira Service Management/Jira Software.

This integration reduces the barriers engineers face by automatically creating records in the place where work gets prioritized and assigned. For enterprises who have a change management process run by IT, the policies create change requests within Jira Service Management, which on approval generate issues that are assigned to the relevant team.

Agile groups can choose to have issues created directly in Jira Software. Crucially, you set the saving threshold that must be met for a record to be created and are able to map the recommendation to the appropriate project based on billing attributes. Important details pertaining to the recommended action itself are available within the change request or issue, thereby lessening time lost to switching between applications.

The full lifecycle of each generated record is then updated and reflected within Cloudability, making it straightforward to understand the optimization status across teams and the outcome of individual recommendations.

In summary, by lowering the overall effort and time required to optimize cloud usage, a better balance can be achieved between speed, cost and quality.

Close the loop by measuring ROI

An important step in any repeating process is to be able to measure the outcome from taking an action so that we can learn and adjust dynamically. This is undoubtedly true of rightsizing activities, and with access to accurate savings figures, we get the validation that can drive future optimization initiatives forward.

To help close this loop, the Rightsizing ROI feature has been added to Cloudability to support the Atlassian integration. Users can review the potential and realized savings of every change request or issue that has been generated. This is an industry-first capability in that delivery teams can report on the precise savings made through actioning usage optimizations.

As well as being important validation, it provides feedback to team members that their work is making a real difference.

How to get started

Getting started with the Atlassian integration is straightforward. Your Jira Instance administrator installs the free Cloudability app from the Atlassian Marketplace to your Jira Cloud instance. Then one of your Cloudability administrators adds your Jira details to the Jira credentials page within Cloudability.

From here your team is ready to create rightsizing policies that match your priorities and begin to action rightsizing recommendations via Jira Service Management and Jira Software. New to Cloudability? Sign up for a free trial today!

You can also learn more about the State of FinOps report along with understanding how Cloudability complements FinOps best practices in our on-demand webinar with the FinOps Foundation.

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