With emerging innovations like autonomous or semi-autonomous driving and the “uberization” of services, the auto and insurance industries are undergoing radical disruptions. Agero’s mission is to improve the driving experience and safeguard drivers through a combination of innovative technology and human-powered solutions — and this includes partnerships with innovation leaders such as Amazon Web Services.
Amidst all this transformation, Agero embarked on a digital transformation of its own by migrating to the cloud, with the goal to make the roadside assistance experience as seamless as possible for its clients’ customers and its vast network of service providers. Operating from the cloud helps Agero serve all these parties better through digitally enabled technology, automation and rapid innovation.
Agero team members tasked with the migration knew at the very beginning of their journey that they needed a solution to help identify and classify costs as they shifted from on-prem systems to the more dynamic and on-demand world of cloud resources. The ability to make informed, proactive decisions regarding workloads deployed natively in the cloud became increasingly important as product development efforts became more platform-focused.
The team initially looked at open-source solutions and other commercial products, but determined that they would be better served with the interface and analytic capabilities that Apptio Cloudability provides, including the ability to aggregate across multiple cloud platforms.
Increased Agility, Requiring Increased Governance and Accountability
Moving to the cloud made it possible for authorized Agero team members to start up a resource, empowering them and allowing even teams operating on the edge to be more independent and agile. Apptio Cloudability provides oversight and visibility for Agero executives and Finance team to keep tabs on cloud spend.
From the beginning, Agero needed the ability to govern development processes that, if left unchecked, could generate unexpected costs related to creating and rendering services to its customers, eroding the realized benefits. At Agero, Apptio Cloudability now underpins governance processes and provides a necessary level of control for teams to be successful.
Controls to Catch and Reverse Anomalies and Mistakes
Agero’s chief worry was the potential for accidental overprovisioning of cloud resources without one way to quickly spot those issues, outside of the monthly invoice.
The team recognized that, without the right controls, oversight and team education in place, the switch to the cloud could become as expensive as on-prem systems. Due to the sheer volume and complexity of AWS DBR/CUR data, spotting billing anomalies with cloud resources is a challenge.
After the initial demo of Apptio Cloudability, Agero also decided to develop a strong internal tagging policy for cloud resources. The first phase after purchase was to get a core user group into the tool, develop key dashboards, refine and implement a tagging strategy and then bring in the first technical team to test out the solution.
Ensuring Continued Success by Building a Cloud Cost Management Culture
From here, Agero successfully implemented Apptio Cloudability, convening regular meetings so IT technical teams could set goals on tagging and monitor usage of their own resources. Agero eventually expanded this further to include the Client Services team, and other teams soon followed.
Leveraging the Right Tools for Success
Under Apptio Cloudability’s guidance and with their best practices at hand, Agero was able to make its first AWS Reserved Instance purchase in just under three months. They quickly identified a large group of commonly-used EC2 instance types running on-demand that could be covered through a Reserved Instance purchase. With help from Apptio Cloudability’s Reserved Instance Planner, Agero refined and proposed the purchase details, and then executed on the buy.
Agero also used Apptio Cloudability to set budgets so they could proceed with confidence with the migration and keep spend on track from the get-go. Having the ability to view different types of costs — cash, adjusted, amortized — helped with ongoing financial planning.
Breaking Down Silos for Optimal Cloud Usage
At the first internal cloud meeting with senior leadership, Agero found that Apptio Cloudability’s True Cost explorer revealed a lot of inherent and interdependent cloud costs.
Agero has achieved its migration to the cloud with impressive speed and thoroughness. It found Apptio Cloudability to be an important part of its set of solutions for enabling a cloud-first culture. The company finds it valuable for bringing technology, business and finance together and driving technical as well as financial discussions, including budgeting. Agero’s teams now have more timely and accurate visibility into cloud spending — more transparency and cost-awareness — and cost considerations are brought up much earlier in the design process, including aspects such as going serverless, auto-scaling, reserving instances and auto shutdown of unused resources.