Whose bill is this? Managing Costs Between IT and Business Units

June 28, 2012 by Diana Nolting


Overworked, understaffed and behind on internal requests.  Does this sound like your enterprise IT department?

If so, you’re not alone. 

If you work in an enterprise IT department, you already know: there is no “typical” day.  Each day is a balance of planning, learning and putting out (hopefully figurative) fires that pop up, day and night. 

In addition to solving every issue from lost passwords to total meltdowns, IT must act as both supplier and producer to the business unit’s consumer role and plan strategically for future events.

If IT is supplying and producing the server space, but the business unit is only using a portion of the provided infrastructure, who pays the remaining bill for what the application isn’t consuming?   What if the application suddenly needs more memory and the application owner must  go through IT to get the addition implemented quickly?

Traditionally, IT has sorted projects primarily based on overall organizational needs.  That can force smaller application needs to get pushed aside and pushed back. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and in that vein, IT departments operating in “survival mode” triage needs. Much like a busy, New York City ER waiting room, your smaller app can be left waiting for hours on an uncomfortable plastic chair for service.

Cloud helps to streamline the triage process by allowing IT to provision and act within a matter of minutes, as opposed to a matter of days or weeks.  This enables IT departments to be more agile and increase scale immediately, with the click of a button.  With increased agility using cloud, resource needs don’t need to be exactly projected in advance, rather they can be added or subtracted as needed. 

This frees up IT personnel to manage cloud resources, rather than dedicating time and energy to try and project the intangibles of the future. 

So, with IT producing and supplying, and business units consuming, who should be responsible for managing and mitigating the bill as costs are incurred?

The ability is there for both the business unit and IT to have access to all the information.  Clear, robust information (available when using Bluelock’s Portfolio™) helps streamline the reporting process to allocate resources and see needs in a fraction of the time.

With Bluelock’s cloud services, including access to the cost management tool, Portfolio, both IT and application owners have an easy-to-use system to add and subtract capacity for individual applications.  As you learn more about needs and trends, you can make more calculated decisions about resource usage in the future. 

Suddenly, your budget is clear, itemized and able to be fully utilized.  There won’t be a fight over whose bill it is when Bluelock Portfolio points out, down to the smallest level, what was used, what the cost is and what you got for that cost. 

More resources were needed?  That will show, to the penny, what was allocated and what it was used on.  The power of information aids both IT and the business owner.  No more fighting over who pays for unused infrastructure.

Find out how you can manage your cloud costs in Bluelock’s free “Managing Cost in the Cloud” whitepaper.  Click to download.

This is part two in a series of four about managing your costs in the cloud. Check back each Thursday for the next installment.


All images are courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.