Guest Blog: David Linthicum, Cloud Computing Visionary, Author, Speaker
I’m proud to be participating in a Webinar co-sponsored by Cloud Cruiser and Cisco, which will discuss the topic of cloud financial management. Why? Well, cloud financial management is one of the more important concepts in the world of cloud computing. Yet, it’s also the most misunderstood.
While many cloud providers think of cloud financial management systems as mere billing systems, they are much more. The core notion is to approach cloud financial management as a set of business processes and automated services that need to coexist with the existing cloud computing services. These services leverage an on-demand, pay-as-you-go cloud model. They offer a complete cloud financial management solution designed to lower IT costs, and profitably scale the cloud services business.
The objective of a cloud financial management system is to provide cost transparency, which will allow the service providers to see all costs. Moreover, it will show how they map to resources consumed, as well as provide this information to the consumer of those resources. Moreover, the concepts and technology should give the cloud provider cost accountability features, which allow charges to be assigned to the appropriate consumer of the cloud services, and in the appropriate amounts. This includes either internal or external cloud service consumers.
The use of cloud financial management, as an approach and underlying technology, should offer the cloud provider cost empowerment, which allows the cloud financial management system to place fine-grained data in the hands of the customer (service consumer) so they can manage costs directly. Finally, there is a need for cost management. This will allow those charged with monitoring cost to understand the use of the resources, and make sure that costs are in line with the budgetary constraints of the service consumer.
So, just billing systems? Hardly. As more service providers come on-line, offering up everything from pre-built business processes that are on-demand, or centralized security and management services, to more traditional IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, the need for cloud financial management technology grows.
The use of a cloud financial management system is a requirement for cloud service providers to manage and control costs, as well as provide the proper cost and usage accounting for their customers or cloud service consumers. Cloud financial management systems, such as the Cloud Cruiser Platform, provide most of the features and functions that service providers will require, including:
• Heterogeneous data collection
• Data analysis and structuring
• Data aggregation and filtering
• Hierarchical data mapping
• Cost and price modeling
• Budget alert processing
As cloud providers grow in numbers, the use of these systems will no longer be something that’s desirable. It will be an absolute necessity, given the growth of cloud computing services, and the number of consumers who leverage these services. Costs have to be monitored, analyzed, and controlled in order for cloud computing to be a business success.
This webinar is not to be missed!