Today, we are pleased to welcome the public to the Aimably Beta Program. Aimably represents the results of two years of development, market research and customer validation. We invite you to get to know us by reading further, then join us as a member of our Beta Program.
When our story began in 2019, we knew we wanted to solve problems for engineering leaders at scaling technology companies: we wanted to build the tools we needed but couldn’t find. We set our sights on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cost Management. Frankly, all technology companies struggle to make sense of and take control over rising AWS costs. Why? It’s complicated:
AWS represents a massive cost center for many technology companies, second only to human capital. The beauty of technology companies is that they are devoid of the traditional costs like raw materials, production lines or inventory that limit the opportunity of many businesses to start from scratch and scale quickly. When AWS reinvented the concept of cloud hosting, the final barrier of purchasing and maintaining physical servers was eliminated, meaning businesses could now configure an account and be live on the public internet in a matter of clicks, paying just for the system usage they needed. Yet once a company scales, the usage skyrockets and the AWS line item in the income statement has the potential overpower the company’s ability to turn a profit. Proper understanding and control of this line item has the capacity to spell success or failure for a technology business.
Unlike traditional infrastructure, AWS expense cannot be planned using traditional tools. When a company embarks on another budget cycle, virtually every expense can be modeled plainly: how much should we set aside for employee external education? how many sales team members will we add and when will they ramp to full quota? is this the year that we finally hire the consultants to reconfigure our demand generation funnel? Every expense can be modeled except usage-driven cloud hosting costs. In our experience, teams generally look to past cost and past scale, then model forward by percentages to expected future scale, but this method simply ignores the fact that system architecture can and must change. Unfortunately, cost prediction in the world of AWS is limited to pricing servers and sizes, which mean extraordinarily little to financial planning teams, so most stick with simple percentage scale models and hope for the best.
The team controlling the AWS environment lacks the expertise of financial management, while the team responsible for guiding the income statement lacks the ability to make changes to AWS. AWS cost is directly dependent on what servers, services and traffic exist in an AWS environment, yet access to control those items is carefully guarded for the security and stability of the business and its clients. IT and/or DevOps teams must create a strictly controlled environment that will serve all client needs and demands, and never goes offline, while the office of the CFO is tasked with ensuring that the finances of the company align to forecasts. Add in the need to make change to the financial position of a company and this system with split roles, expertises and goals is guaranteed to produce a bureaucratic turf war, even in the most amiable of work environments.
At Aimably we are building software that resolves the complicated world of AWS Cost Management via teamwork, transparency and a laser focus on business outcomes.
Teamwork. The division of roles, skills and goals should never go away: you hired members of each team to be experts in their own domain. Instead, of inserting a new project manager or consultant to bridge the gap, Aimably offers a collaborative user experience with clear responsibilities aligned with each department, creating an environment for executing tasks according to expertise. In Aimably, financial leaders set financial targets, engineering leaders are held accountable to targets by recommending changes and IT/DevOps individuals hold the authority for implementing the changes in AWS. Simple.
Transparency. Aimably strives to bring clarity across the AWS Cost Management process, whether it’s helping business leaders understand the bill or empowering technologists to perform deep dive cost spike analysis. Similarly, the user experience provides clear communication of goals, projects performed and outcomes of these interventions. Once all team members understand business goals, the teamwork can begin.
Business Outcomes. Aimably is in the business of delivering real cost control solutions to companies of a wide range of scales. As a result, reporting on these outcomes is critical. Just saying action is being taken isn’t enough. As an Aimably client, all team members know when your goals are being met and when you are missing the mark.
Do you think Aimably can help your company get your AWS costs under control? Apply to join our Beta Program to find out!