FinAnts cloud language

From ‘Provisioning’ to ‘Procurement’ – What’s in a Name?

Walter Beek Finants
Walter Beek
FinOps Consultant, CEO FinAnts Europe and The FinAnts Group

You have probably noticed that Cloud deployments introduces its own terminology. This is not uncommon when new technologies emerge.

Sometimes this new language makes absolute sense. In particular when there is no name for new things, those new technologies. However, often it just makes things confusing. It makes it hard for the uninitiated, the ‘non-specialists’, to understand what is going on.

By using new terminologies, lessons we learned from old technologies are removed in a subtle way. By calling them something else, the embedded governance the old terms trigger is removed.

Let me give you an example.

Cloud engineers love to talk about ‘provisioning’ new services. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But all they are really doing is committing the organisation to cost. What they are really doing is ‘procuring’ new services. So why not call it that?

Most organisations have an authorisation process, related to the value of committed spend, for procurement. By talking about provisioning, the deployment of cloud services removes the governance we have all learned is a necessary evil. Without an authorisation process, expensive mistakes are made, and executives are unable to confidently execute their governance role.

That is why I always talk about ‘procurement’ and not ‘provisioning’. We recommend you do the same,  and watch how that changes behaviour.

There are other examples: ‘Reserved Instances’, ‘Committed Use Discounts’ and ‘Saving Plans’ are just fixed price commitments. If you make those commitments, you get a price discount. Simple.

Recognise you are not ‘provisioning a 1 Year All Upfront Convertible Reserved Instance’. You are simply procuring a 1-year prepaid service, with the added benefit of being able to change the type of service. Things will fall back into place. Suddenly IT, Finance and Procurement are back on equal terms. Where we want them to be.

So here is a recommendation for you:

Cloud cost management and cloud wastage removal is all about collaboration. Collaboration between cloud engineers, procurement specialists, finance departments and business owners.

Collaboration requires a shared language.

We recommend you harmonise terminologies across your teams in a formal way. Perhaps create an internal website page with a ‘glossary of terms’. And there is nothing wrong with using established terms and terminology.

Let us know what you think?




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