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How a Leading Aviation Company Achieved Deep Cloud Visibility and Optimized Cost

Cloud management is tricky business. Harnessing the full power of multi-cloud requires a multi-pronged approach and demands good strategic thinking. In fact, 80% of enterprises find it challenging to manage cloud spend efficiently, according to McKinsey.

AviationCo, a well-established aviation company, struggled with managing their IT infrastructure migration to public cloud and encountered many hurdles that hampered efficient operations. This is where StackStudio Digital, or Stack as we are commonly known, was able to leverage expertise and untangle cloud operations with maximum results for AviationCo.

First, who are AviationCo?

With satisfied customers and connections to over 150 destinations, AviationCo is a leading airline known for its high quality of service, a modern fleet of over 200 aircraft and being at the forefront of technology. Boasting a rich history of innovation over 40 years, they are also renowned for delivering next-level flight safety track records in the aviation industry.

AviationCo’s FinOps Mission

Business-wise, AviationCo had seen rapid growth and expanded worldwide in the last decade. Consequently, they needed a more sophisticated and complex IT infrastructure.

Their vision was to transform their cloud landscape to increase transparency and higher visibility into spending. As a part of its IT transformation journey, AviationCo decided to migrate a major portion of its IT infrastructure to the public cloud. 

Why? Transitioning to a managed FinOps environment would help AviationCo in delivering greater value to its customers. Besides, driving FinOps processes lead to better cloud visibility, more accountability, and huge cost savings. These insights also help stakeholders feel less anxious, which may motivate them to move more workloads to the cloud faster.

Key Roadblocks Faced By Client

The journey to achieve deep cloud visibility has been quite bumpy for AviationCo, to say the least.

Most service offerings by the company depended on gigantic datasets, which demanded a more sophisticated cloud infrastructure. Their current cloud setting, although fairly capable of handling such heavy loads of data, also wasn’t the easiest to manage. Here are some of the biggest challenges faced by AviationCo, which raised the need to operationalize FinOps on priority:

  • Due to low cloud cost visibility, AviationCo began to witness a spike in their monthly payments, affecting their business profitability.
  • The enterprise’s cloud invoices also consisted of a significant percentage of unutilized resources, clearly indicating a severe lack of adequate service utilization.
  • On the other hand, most of their services were operating with relatively inadequate governance or control. AviationCo was trapped in a “pay as you go” model that required them to accept high rates.
  • Discovering and allocating the sources of cloud cost is challenging by itself. Making the necessary moves to reduce waste became more difficult due to lack of cost-conscious cloud principles and ownership policies.

How Stack Helped

Most IT team actions have an impact on the cloud bill, and cloud costs are closely related to usage. We began by working on providing complete cloud transparency and in establishing a process for enhancing cloud usage experiences.

We started by defining a Minimal Viable Roadmap through every subsequent FinOps phase. Here’s how it looked:

Phase 01

  • We started by recognizing the overall cost of an Automated Tagging strategy and mandatory compliance. A comprehensive and well-listed tagging initiative was imperative for AviationCo as it would help the finance department detect the non-essential, cost-heavy components of their cloud infrastructure. 
  • Next, we proceeded to integrate automation and data for improved reporting for AviationCo stakeholders. For example, this ‘automation + data’ approach reduced manual interventions, and we could show both showback and chargeback reports. The client could now see their costs, have a clearer understanding of how they’re determined, and be safe from any fraud.

Phase 02

  • Subsequently, we implemented a communication strategy to launch advanced financial operations to IT and business communities. Our vision was to enhance organizational productivity throughout the shift and help stakeholders understand the big picture.

Phase 03

  • While the transition was successfully initiated and running, we started offering consistent spend/usage data to AviationCo’s key stakeholders. Being a part of the communication strategy, this step was aimed to help in effective, real-time decision-making.
  • We also followed an “80/20” approach, where more focus and higher effort were put into dealing with issues that have the highest impact. Creating this priority-based action matrix helped boost their organizational productivity and run operations seamlessly.

Phase 04

  • In the final phase, we started emphasizing cost and usage optimization. 
  • We went for the ‘low-hanging fruit’ first, which was to detect and remove underutilized and unused resources from the current infrastructure. Eliminating these would give us a shot at instantly reducing cloud costs. 
  • Our primary goal throughout these phases was to adopt a Total Cost Ownership approach. By collecting all possible expense data about our client’s cloud infrastructure, we were able to make better decisions at increasing deep cloud visibility and transparency.

The Final Result

After about 4 months of work, AviationCo was able to streamline Cloud purchases and reduce recoverable costs. 

By implementing our Minimal Viable Roadmap and cloud visibility/ transparency principles, Stack assisted the company’s IT teams in accelerating cloud optimization and identifying multi-cloud cost-saving opportunities on the go. 

As a result, AviationCo witnessed immediate cloud expense savings by 25% in their cloud bills and improved taggable resources by 35%. FinOps-enhanced cost management services further powered a high-value strategy of obtaining more efficient cloud services, resulting in improved business results for the client.

Looking for similar results?

With over two decades of experience in tech, Stack helps enhance cloud visibility, cut down costs, and introduce FinOps discipline to your enterprise. Please contact us if you would like to speak to, or learn more about, our client. Book a free assessment today – click here to get started.

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