Apptio: Create cost visibility to support Finastra’s agility

Mallory Beaudreau, Customer Portfolio Director (EMEA), Apptio, discusses Finastra’s migration to the cloud for greater visibility with the help of Apptio

Offering a suite of software platforms for every aspect of IT financial management, Apptio provides actionable insights to connect technology investment decisions for better business outcomes. 

“We provide 360-degree visibility into your on-prem spend, your agile product investments, and your cloud investments. We offer tools like ApptioOne for your total IT spend, to TargetProcess for your agile investments, and the Cloudability product family to manage your cloud spend, cloud migrations and your SaaS spend,” says Mallory Beaudreau, Customer Portfolio Director (EMEA), Apptio.

Finastra increases its spend in cloud

Finastra has been using Azure as part of their own digital transformation journey for some time, but in July 2020, the company announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure to accelerate their own roadmap and support the needs of their customers. “They chose Azure because it provided them with flexibility and scale,” says Beaudreau.

“Azure had advanced technology solutions that meant Finastra could deliver mission-critical solutions to their own customers. Now, one of the results of that strategic partnership was that in March of 2021, Finastra migrated its entire core platform, called Fusion Phoenix, over to Microsoft Azure. But every migration does come with its own challenges. For Finastra, the ramp-up in Azure spend created cost, visibility and allocation challenges. 

“This is very normal for an organisation that sees a large scale-up in their cloud usage. On one hand, the benefit of cloud usage is that each product team has the flexibility to choose the resources that best suit their workload. But the challenge that comes with that flexibility is there are literally thousands of choices available and the central finance team loses control over which resources those teams will choose. Those choices have significant cost implications for the organisation. And so, waiting for a monthly invoice isn't an option anymore in a cloud-first world,” says Beaudreau.

With Finastra struggling to gain that real-time visibility into their spend, making it harder to understand the value of that cloud investment, Finastra looked to Apptio to help make sense of the complexity. “When organisations like Finastra start to spend significantly on cloud, it is normal to turn to a third-party data platform to support their organisations’ complexities and also to help you with best practices. So Finastra partnered with Apptio and leveraged its Cloudability platform for cloud cost management. 

“Now, right out of the box, teams at Finastra got access to real-time spend data. They could see how infrastructure choices tied back to the bottom line. But what Finastra also did is it coupled that cloud data with business data, things that it wouldn't find in a billing file, like names of products or clients, and that made it clear to teams, not only how the infrastructure choices tied back to spend, but really tied back into business units and ultimately to the clients that they served,” explains Beaudreau.

The power of visibility

“Visibility can be so powerful for an organisation. It means that everybody has a common platform to see and understand their spend. Looking at the same thing at the same time, starts to build a common language and teams don't have to translate between their backgrounds and their own jargon, but rather they can start to have more insightful conversations together. On top of that, at Finastra, the different departments were able to get the information that was relevant to them,” says Beaudreau.

“For an engineer, that could be the cost of the VMs that they're running. For a business owner, that might be the cost of the product that they own. Now, a finance person might need quarter over quarter data, while executive teams might need some sort of annual trend, but the point here is that all of those personas can come to that one platform and get the information that they need in a way that's meaningful to them.

“One of the biggest impacts that visibility has is how it can change behaviour. So just to give you one example from Finastra, using Aptio Cloudability meant that the teams could see resources that were on but were no longer in use, and just like that, they were able to turn those off and save the company money,” says Beaudreau.

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