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How Stack helped a Leading Financial Services Company Gain Cloud Visibility and Operational Control

Organisations are constantly on the lookout for cutting costs and improving efficiency. One way to do this is to migrate to the cloud. Especially for growing sectors like Finance, the cloud has been an absolute game-changer, and numbers do tell the tale. According to IDC, expenditure on cloud services in banking is expected to increase by more than 16% year on year through 2024, reaching $77 billion globally.

And like other banking firms, FinsCo, a leading financial services organisation in the UK, migrated to the cloud a few years ago. However, they encountered many hurdles with visibility and control instead of the agility they expected to gain. The reason? They were using spreadsheets to track cloud spending and usage.

Enter StackStudio Digital, or Stack as we are commonly known. We utilised our years of cloud expertise to successfully optimise FinsCo’s cloud spending and management for maximum efficiency.

More about FinsCo

FinsCo is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations serving approximately 40 million global customers. They offer personal, commercial, and global banking services across 63 countries. They aim to open up novel opportunities for their customers by bringing together their unique expertise and services.

Their FinOps mission

FinsCo’s vision was to transition from a capital expenditures (CAPEX) model to a more flexible and agile operational costs (OPEX) model but realised that their cloud management and usage were not up to par and did not provide them with the promised benefits. This value gap called for a re-evaluation of cloud expenditures.

Challenges faced by FinsCo

FinsCo’s journey towards achieving cloud optimization has been rather challenging.

  • Cloud optimisation demands a unique combination of an in-depth understanding of cloud services and application architecture. Lack of cloud expertise is a migration challenge which resulted in FinsCo exceeding the on-premise infrastructure spend.
  • While well-architected cloud deployments can offer remarkable speed and flexibility, cost control is a challenging factor. FinsCo incurred significant cloud costs due to a lack of accountability, operational agility, and visibility into cloud operating models.
  • Security was another primary concern with FinsCo since it deals with sensitive data. The cloud provider had to meet security and compliance standards for cloud operations in addition to those set by FinsCo, which added another layer of complexity.

How Stack helped

Our priority was to review the current state of FinOps and deploy appropriate, swift measures to achieve

  • Greater clarity around cloud spending
  • Capability to bill expenses to numerous CSPs
  • Implementation of a forecasting process that facilitated business decisions
  • Complete visibility of the platform’s operating expenses
  • A higher market share whilst maintaining risk limits

We carried this out in 2 phases.

Phase 01

  • We started by reviewing the current tagging strategy and identified the gaps. Tags make it easier to implement, manage, and report on resources in line with best practices. Optimal tagging leads to accurate cost reporting, cost optimization, charge-back security, and compliance, all of which are essential to effective cloud cost control.
  • We then presented a strategy for assigning untaggable and shared resources. We studied these shared, untagged resources early on and mapped the optimal cost distribution areas.
  • Finally, we overlaid the metadata labels, and centralised the billing and recharge process within FinOps. This process ensured greater flexibility to allocate and divide costs while maintaining consolidated control.

Phase 02

  • Stack employed Showback reporting to make departments accountable for technology usage and associated costs. Showback focuses on visibility to make employees more cost aware and enhance operational efficiency.
  • We offered an all-encompassing perspective on cloud operations leveraging analytics to gain deeper forecast insights. As a result, business partners were able to make more informed decisions about their cloud budgets.
  • We adopted an automated cost management approach and transitioned from spreadsheets to cloud-based financial software. This ensured scalability, guaranteed cost savings, increased flexibility, and the ability to customise.
  • We established CSP billing data for comprehensive views into their billing to date and to gain a better understanding of future expenses through accurate forecasts.

Benefits achieved

After leveraging the full power of Stack, at the end of 4 months, FinsCo was able to significantly reduce cloud spending and gain more operational agility. With our cloud optimization strategies, FinsCo witnessed a surge in cloud performance, as well. 

FinsCo’s cloud costs immediately decreased by 22%, and its taggable resources were increased from a low of 49% to 81%. FinOps-enhanced cloud solutions proved to be a radical transformation resulting in greater accountability, maximum cost-effectiveness, and optimised business value.

Want to optimise your cloud journey?

With senior partners having over two decades of experience in tech, Stack leverages FinOps to help organisations streamline cloud operations effectively. If you’re looking to reduce cloud costs, boost productivity, and enhance cloud visibility get in touch with us today.Book a free assessment today – click here to get started.

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