Gavin Cahill - August 23, 2019

Visibility Checklist: Defining Cloud Cost Visibility

If your company uses the cloud, then you know how important it is to have visibility into the cost of your cloud. The core of the cloud ecosystem is all about having the flexibility to pay for the services you need instead of having to invest in data centers. In practice, this means the more you’re able to manage your cloud costs, the more cloud you get for your spend.

And the key to managing your cloud costs is having cloud cost visibility.

But what does that even mean? After all, even a basic billing report gives you some visibility. How do you know if you have enough visibility? And how do you know if it’s the right visibility?

We’ve constructed a 40-point checklist that will help you find the answers to those questions. By going through this list, you can figure out whether you can see part of your spend, or whether you have true visibility into your cloud costs.

We built this checklist around these core key concepts:

1. Visibility must be useful

Being able to see your cloud spend is interesting, but it’s a waste of time if you can’t do anything with the data. We believe that true visibility enables and empowers you to take action with your cloud spend. When you’ve got full visibility, you can use that as the basis for strategic decisions and you can have full confidence in your choices.

If you can’t have complete confidence, then you don’t have enough visibility.

2. Visibility must be adaptable

No two cloud architectures are the same, even within the same company. Knowing what the whole company is doing won’t be as helpful to a single product feature team, just as only having visibility into that one feature won’t help executives on a company-wide scale. Full visibility allows you to zoom into or out of the data as needed.

If you can’t adapt your focus to different situations, then you don’t have enough visibility.

3. Visibility must be complete

Only seeing 60% of the data means you’re only seeing 60% of the picture, and that your decisions can only be 60% accurate. At best. The only way to have full confidence in decisions about your cloud is if you have 100% visibility into your cloud spend, including past, present and projected use.

If you need the data to make a decision, then you need to be able to see it. Anything less isn’t enough visibility.

How do you know if you’re getting enough visibility?

That’s why the checklist is here. We’ve broken down these three core concepts into seven pillars of visibility, each with individual boxes that a system needs to check for you and your team if it’s going to provide you with true visibility into your cloud cost.

Whether you’re building your own cloud cost management tool, evaluating choices or just trying to get a handle on your cloud spend, this checklist is the perfect place to start.

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