Maximizing Cost Savings on AWS: 11 FinOps Strategies for Success

Feb 8, 2024 | Cost Optimization

Research estimates that enterprises waste around 30 percent of their cloud spend, with around 80 percent finding cloud spend management challenging. With these numbers in mind, it has never been more important for businesses to implement effective cost optimization strategies to maximize ROI in cloud operations.

Financial Operations (FinOps) is a methodology that combines financial accountability with cloud technology to optimize spending. By implementing FinOps strategies tailored to your specific needs, you can unlock significant savings and enhance the efficiency of your organization’s AWS environment. In this blog, we’ll discuss 11 essential strategies to enhance cost savings through FinOps.

1. Review Cost Analysis and Reporting

Understanding your AWS spending patterns is the first step toward effective cost optimization. By analyzing cost and usage data with something like an AWS Well-Architected Framework Review, you can gain valuable insights into where your money is going and identify areas for improvement. Regular reports generated from AWS can provide a clear overview of your spending trends, enabling you to make informed decisions about resource allocation and optimization.

2. Maximize Resource Optimization

Optimizing your AWS resource usage is essential for reducing costs without sacrificing performance. One effective strategy is right sizing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, ensuring that you’re only paying for the capacity you actually need. Leveraging EC2 for noncritical workloads can lead to significant cost savings, as these instances are available at a lower price but may be interrupted by AWS with short notice.

3. Utilize Reserved Instances

Reserved Instances (RIs) offer a cost-effective pricing model for predictable workloads. By analyzing usage patterns, you can identify which workloads are suitable for RIs and purchase them up front to achieve substantial cost savings over time. RIs provide a discounted hourly rate compared to On-Demand pricing, making them a valuable asset for optimizing your AWS costs.

4. Leverage Spot Instances

Spot Instances are another cost-saving option for workloads that can tolerate interruptions. These instances are available at significantly lower prices than On-Demand instances but may be terminated by AWS when the spot price exceeds your bid. By strategically using spot instances for noncritical workloads or tasks that can be easily restarted, you can achieve substantial cost savings without compromising performance.

5. Implement Auto Scaling

AWS Auto Scaling allows you to dynamically adjust resources based on demand, optimizing costs and reducing waste. By automatically scaling up or down in response to changes in workload, you can ensure that you’re only paying for the resources you need at any given time. This flexibility not only helps to optimize costs but also improves the overall efficiency of your AWS environment.

6. Establish Governance and Control

Establishing policies and guardrails is essential for effective cost control on the AWS Cloud. By implementing governance measures and leveraging tagging, you can control costs more effectively and ensure that resources are used efficiently. For example, you can limit resource usage to specific teams or departments, preventing unnecessary spending and ensuring alignment with your business objectives.

7. Optimize Data Management

Optimizing storage and data-transfer costs is key to reducing expenses on the AWS Cloud. By utilizing services such as Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering and S3 Glacier for long-term storage, you can minimize unnecessary expenses while maintaining data accessibility. Additionally, implementing data lifecycle policies can help you manage storage costs more effectively by automatically transitioning infrequently accessed data to lower-cost storage tiers.

8. Continuously Monitor and Optimize

Continuous monitoring of cost and usage data with a variety of AWS tools is essential for identifying optimization opportunities and maximizing cost savings over time. By regularly reviewing your AWS spending and identifying areas for improvement, you can implement strategies to optimize costs and improve efficiency. This iterative approach to cost optimization ensures that you’re always getting the most value out of your AWS environment.

9. Enhance Cost Allocation

Allocating costs to specific teams, departments, or projects is essential for increasing visibility and accountability for AWS spending. By accurately tracking and attributing costs, you can identify areas of overspending and take action to reduce expenses. This transparency also facilitates better cost management and resource utilization, ensuring that your AWS spending is aligned with your business priorities.

10. Implement Cloud Cost Management Tools

AWS provides a range of cost management tools to help you gain insight into your spending and optimize costs effectively. Tools such as AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, and AWS Cost Anomaly Detection offer comprehensive oversight of your AWS spending, allowing you to identify areas for optimization and track progress over time. By leveraging these tools, you can gain greater control over your AWS costs and make more informed decisions about resource allocation and optimization.

11. Automate Scheduling

Automating resource scheduling is an effective way to minimize waste and reduce AWS cloud spend. By automatically starting and stopping resources—such as development and staging environments—when they’re not in use, you can optimize costs without manual intervention. This not only helps to reduce expenses but also improves the efficiency of your AWS environment by ensuring that resources are only active when they’re needed.

By implementing these FinOps strategies, you can manage costs effectively on the AWS cloud while maximizing value and efficiency. Whether you’re looking to optimize resource usage, reduce expenses, or enhance governance, these strategies offer actionable steps to achieve your cost optimization goals. Start implementing them today to unlock the full potential of your AWS environment and drive business success.

We Can Help

The nClouds FinOps program is a robust solution designed to identify opportunities for cost optimization and maximize long-term savings. We offer guidance and support for both administrative and technical cost savings opportunities, including consolidated billing, enterprise discount programs, savings plans, reserved instances, flexible billing options, observability, modernization, rightsizing, type migration, and scheduled resources.

With the nClouds FinOps program, your IT department can thrive during economic turbulence. We are here to help you cut costs, control spend, and make the IT department shine as a strategic contributor to the company’s overall vision and growth.

Learn more here.


nClouds is a cloud-native services company that helps organizations maximize site uptime, performance, stability, and support, bringing out the best of their people and technology using AWS