Managing Costs with Financial Governance While Democratizing Data at Scale

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April 11, 2019 by Updated April 2nd, 2024

Lyft’s recent IPO filings revealed a snapshot of the company’s staggering cloud costs. According to the filing, Lyft is contractually obligated to pay at least $300 million to Amazon Web Services (AWS) between January 2019 and December 2021. Stories like this have captured the attention of data and analytics leaders as they grapple with the escalating costs of large-scale data processing in the cloud.

While the primary drivers to migrate data processing from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud are cost savings, speed, and efficiency, self-service access to data combined with the unbounded elastic nature of the cloud often results in expensive cost overruns — something that CFOs everywhere are beginning to notice.

But cloud costs aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, data-driven organizations like Lyft, Expedia, and others have leveraged the unbounded elastic nature of the cloud to process petabytes of data to create a tremendous competitive advantage by offering new products, improving the customer experience, and mitigating risk.

Why Companies Need Financial Governance

Organizations need effective financial governance for data processing that can continuously monitor, safeguard against unexpected spend, and provide direct evidence of benefits received against spend.

Financial governance is a fundamentally different challenge in the cloud compared to on-premises, which involves agreeing to costs upfront for long-term commitments. Virtually all cloud services are on-demand, usage-based systems, and financial governance ensures that wasteful spending is identified and eventually eliminated while quantifying the ROI of valuable spend.

Many of the challenges that impact reliable financial governance for data processing platforms in the cloud are the same as those for delivering any cloud-based system. However, cloud-based data platforms face specific challenges unique to the processing of data.

Your Guide to Financial Governance in the Cloud

Ungoverned spend hurts more than rising cloud costs. Governance, in general, is about control, accountability, and responsibility. Financial governance is no different. Very often we tend to think that only great power can keep evil (aka cost overruns) in check. But in reality, the everyday deeds of every single stakeholder are what keep the cost overruns at bay.

To help data and analytics leaders worldwide, Qubole has collaborated with O’Reilly Media to bring to you the “Financial Governance for Data Processing in the Cloud” book.

This book provides guidance to effectively govern the costs associated with data processing in the cloud. Looking at the three areas of any successful financial governance plan — cost control, traceability, and predictability — the book provides some pointers on the tools, systems, and processes you can employ to deliver a successful cloud-based data-processing platform with effective financial governance.

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