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Image: Flexera One FinOps: Cloud Cost Optimization year in review

2023 marked a shift in the cloud marketplace to an even greater focus on cost savings and reduction, realized in a massive interest in FinOps practices. More organizations have started or are maturing their FinOps practices, notably implementing Hybrid ITAM and FinOps best practices to realize the many benefits of alignment between these teams on related activities.

To help you on your FinOps journey, we’ve made significant improvements and additions to our Flexera One FinOps solutions, including the core cloud cost management component, Cloud Cost Optimization. These updates are a direct result of our research and conversations with Flexera customers, addressing the most pressing needs of the ever-evolving hybrid cloud space.


Cost allocation improvements

In the first Q1 release of 2023, Cloud Cost Optimization enabled Rule-Based Dimensions for billing center cost allocation rules. By allowing for account tag allocation, users can now experience a simplified tagging strategy for cost allocation, improving accuracy and reducing manual effort. This also improves historical accuracy of cost allocation throughout the lifecycle of cloud accounts and resources, combining to help Cloud Cost Optimization customers realize the most accurate cost allocation to support FinOps reporting and optimization efforts.

Cloud Budgets

Flexera introduced Cloud Budgets for Flexera One Cloud Cost Optimization, which enables true multi-cloud reporting on budget vs. actual spend using unique business rules for the highest degree of accuracy and relevancy.

With Cloud Budgets, you can manage multiple of these cloud budgets defined by business rules, with proactive alerting when a budget begins to reach a user-defined threshold or actual spend. Cloud Budgets enables cloud and FinOps teams to understand performance vs. budget, proactively manage changes in spend and understand and contextualize spikes in spend.


Cost allocation improvements

In Q2 of 2023, Cloud Cost Optimization enabled the ingestion of AWS account tags. These tags are allocated using account tags through Rule-Based Dimensions and includes using Rule-Based Dimensions for managing allocation rules in billing centers. This removes the need to tag at a resource level, and enables the allocation of spend that cannot be tagged.


A new AWS Realized Savings dashboard in Q3 of 2023 gives an easily digestible summary of the realized savings of rate optimization efforts in AWS. This allows you to easily demonstrate the direct value of your FinOps efforts to leadership and relevant stakeholders.  It also includes the addition of new cost metrics, such as:

  • List price: cost before any discounts are applied
  • Savings: amount saved from Reserved Instance, Savings Plan, and Spot discounts
  • Savings percentage: the percentage of savings

Cloud dashboard update

Also in Q3, Cloud Cost Optimization overhauled the main Cloud Dashboard in Flexera One FinOps with a variety of improvements to enhance your experience in tracking and executing FinOps efforts, including:

  • A streamlined user experience
  • Expanded filter capabilities
  • The ability to share dashboards with Billing Centers
  • A share link for configured dashboard with other users
  • The usage metric becoming available in Tabular Report
  • The addition of new cost metrics (List Price, Savings)

Billing Center update

Along with the improvements introduced to the cloud dashboard, Billing Centers received a variety of quality-of-life and usability enhancements:

  • A streamlined user experience
  • The root tabular view has moved to the Cloud Menu
  • Potential Savings are now shown in Billing Centers
  • Shared Dashboards are available within Billing Centers


Azure Cost Management data ingestion

To incorporate the expanded feature set of Azure Cost Management, Flexera Cloud Cost Optimization provides a new Bill Connect to ingest billing details from Azure Cost Management data. The new features included in Azure Cost Management to assist FinOps and Cloud teams utilizing Azure include:

  • Azure Savings Plans cost and usage
  • Azure computed amortization
  • Enrollment scope
  • Parity with Azure Portal
  • Scales using Scheduled Exports vs. API
  • Realized savings


Rule-Based Dimensions UI improvements (beta)

To help non-technical users view, understand and manage an organization’s unique Rule-Based Dimensions, an easily navigable UI beta was implemented into Cloud Cost Optimization in Q4 of 2023. This allows for even greater value from Rule-Based Dimensions that technical users have experienced since the initial release.


Azure EA Cost Management Bill Connect

Cloud Cost Optimization has added the ability to connect to Azure EA Cost Management through Bill Connect, allowing for full visibility into:

  • Azure Amortization
  • Reservation and Savings Plan reallocation
  • Azure Savings Plans
  • Parity with Azure Portal
  • Two ingest methods: API and Export
  • Fast ingest with export option
  • Support for Enrollment Scope


Azure rate reduction savings (beta)

Continuing reporting and team results updates, Cloud Cost Optimization added the beta ability for FinOps teams to demonstrate to their organization how much they have saved with rate optimization for Azure as of Q4 of 2023.


Cloud Migration and Modernization improvements

Part of Flexera One FinOps, Flexera Cloud Migration and Modernization released a significant feature for FinOps teams to compliment the feature set and business value of Cloud Cost Optimization by providing cloud migration planning with FinOps and Day-2 operations in mind.

Migration tag reporting

Cloud Migration and Modernization now supports the crucial capability of adding tags during the migration planning process, ensuring Day-2 FinOps efforts are as successful as possible with the ability to allocate costs and associated usage.

For a full description of the 2023 release summary for Cloud Migration and Modernization, click here.

Learn more about Flexera One FinOps and Cloud Cost Optimization today.