Bob had just arrived in the office for his first day of work as the newly hired chief technical officer when he was called into a conference room by the president, Martha, who immediately introduced him to the head of accounting, Amanda. They exchanged pleasantries, and then Martha got right down to business:
“Bob, we have several teams here developing software applications on Amazon and our bill is very high. We think it’s unnecessarily high, and we’d like you to look into it and bring it under control.”
Martha placed a screenshot of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) billing report on the table and pointed to it.
“This is a problem for us: We don’t know what we’re spending this money on, and we need to see more detail.”
Amanda chimed in, “Bob, look, we have financial dimensions that we use for reporting purposes, and I can provide you with some guidance regarding some information we’d really like to see such that the reports that are ultimately produced mirror these dimensions — if you can do this, it would really help us internally.”
“Bob, we can’t stress how important this is right now. These projects are becoming very expensive for our business,” Martha reiterated.
“How many projects do we have?” Bob inquired.
“We have four projects in total: two in the aviation division and two in the energy division. If it matters, the aviation division has 75 developers and the energy division has 25 developers,” the CEO responded.
Bob understood the problem and responded, “I’ll see what I can do and have some ideas. I might not be able to give you retrospective insight, but going forward, we should be able to get a better idea of what’s going on and start to bring the cost down.”
The meeting ended with Bob heading to find his desk. Cost allocation tags should help us, he thought to himself as he looked for someone who might know where his office is.
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In this section, we’re going to look at the AWS billing dashboard, which is available to account holders and which has two items of interest: the cost explorer and cost allocation tags.