32% Annualized Savings: GroundTruth Optimizes AWS Spend With CloudForecast

CloudForecast has been like a large value add. The knowledge and willingness of the founders and the interaction with the company —I would recommend them to pretty much anyone who was looking for this type of a solution.

Matthew Knight

SVP, Product and Technology

“We’ve really appreciated their willingness to dive in and lead us to solutions that we didn’t know were available when we first started.” Joshua Gies, DevOps Manager
Quote From Joshua Gies, DevOps Manager

To thrive in the ad tech space requires constant innovation. Led by Joshua Gies, the DevOps team at GroundTruth regularly builds new products and services to support the organization’s broader objectives. Their novel approach has attracted the likes of Toyota, McDonald’s, and PepsiCo Beverages North America—among many other notable clients.

At the beginning of 2023, it was time to take a close look at the monthly AWS costs associated with such steady output. When Gies and the leadership team first engaged with CloudForecast, they had an ambitious goal in mind: to realize 11% in annualized savings for total AWS cloud spend. Here’s how they did it.

“Having the cost optimizations and zero waste reporting provided us with additional insights into where some of the spend was that we would not have easily found on our own.”Joshua Gies, DevOps Manager
Quote From Joshua Gies, DevOps Manager

Finding a More Efficient Way to Rein In AWS Spend

Save at least 11% annually on suboptimal spend within RDS and EC2Identify meaningful action items tied to tangible, cost-saving outcomes Easily build monthly financial reports to get high-level eyes on the issues

Ask any cloud-reliant team and they’ll tell you the same thing: there’s plenty of waste in the realm of cloud costs. By some approximations, 94% of companies still overspend on cloud. Often, the inefficiencies are not for lack of effort. For one thing, the out-of-the-box interface from Amazon leaves a lot to be desired. As Gies puts it, the ability to not only go in and get spend data, but to set up viable reporting, is non-trivial at best.

But visibility was an essential component in identifying cost-saving measures and disseminating them  to the decision-makers. For a team already operating at full capacity, there was little time for the manually-intensive configuration needed to unearth cost-saving measures in AWS.

And those cost savings were critical to GroundTruth operations moving forward. In order to continue maximizing revenue, spinning up new features, and retaining talent, Gies and his team needed to get cloud spend under better control.

Accelerating Time to Value through Quick Setup and Adoption

For GroundTruth, two important questions stood in the way of implementing CloudForecast: how quickly could the solution deliver value; and how would CloudForecast help GroundTruth meet their annual savings goal? 

Unlike other cloud-optimization solutions, CloudForecast offered faster setup and superior ease of use, which Gies and his team quickly took advantage of. In Q1 of 2023, the team had already began using a number of key features:

Slack Integration: Spot and Respond to Overspending

The DevOps team relied on this integration for overspending alerts. Embedded within a tool that the team already used on a daily basis, the CloudForecast Slack integration provided a Daily Cost Management Report broken down by AWS dimensions, resources, and tags, as well as total spend and EOM forecasting.

Before anyone needed to go looking for it, the integration proactively delivered the information they cared about most. “If we saw a spike, we could quickly identify the cause. It was right there for everyone to look at and use,” says Gies.

GroundTruth also created guest accounts for CloudForecast founders to respond to any issues, answer questions, or provide supplementary data. This has also served as a form for feature requests, as well as previews of what new functionality might look like.

Cloudforecast AWS Optimization Reports Integrates With Slack
Cloudforecast AWS Optimization Reports Integrates With Slack

ZeroWaste Cost Optimization: Find Idle/Underused Resources

In a couple of clicks, the GroundTruth team could get a focused summary of any resources that were wasting them money using the ZeroWaste Report. These included over-provisioned resources, used/unattached volumes, and old snapshots. These reports could then be shared by URL, exported to .csv, or configured for bi-weekly or monthly email delivery.

Check out the interactive demo of the ZeroWaste reporting tool here.

The ZeroWaste feature is designed for straightforward AWS cost optimization, eliminating unnecessary complexity.
The ZeroWaste feature is designed for straightforward AWS cost optimization, eliminating unnecessary complexity.

Custom Financial Insight Report: Give Finance Better Visibility

Finally, the GroundTruth team could now deliver monthly financial reports to the finance and leadership teams. This provided the CFO and other C-Level execs visibility into the progress that Gies and his team were making. This level of visibility helped keep everyone accountable for the 2023 cost-management goals, and continues to do so today. 

“For example, as we brought up new services and systems, finance and accounting needed to keep track of certain tags that come up. Now they had a tagging report that ran monthly so we could show actual coverage and anything we previously missed. This helped them with year-end cost allocation.”

With Millions Saved, Onto Further Optimizations

Overall, CloudForecast has helped the GroundTruth engineering team focus on the right areas and prioritize appropriately. As a result, they exceeded their cost-optimization goals for 2023, eclipsing  32% in annualized savings.

This is critical funding that GroundTruth can now use elsewhere, whether it’s hiring and retaining talent, building new science models, or rolling out new features. “It’s a net benefit for everyone,” says Gies. “More money to try some experiments that lead to more efficient ways of running things for our customers.”

Moving forward, the team looks to continue optimizing their cloud spend. According to Matthew Knight, SVP of Product and Technology, GroundTruth aims to shave another half a million dollars off of their 2024 spend. With this level of daily reporting and proactive problem solving in place, they’re well on their way. 

“CloudForecast has been like a large value add. The knowledge and willingness of the founders and the interaction with the company —I would recommend them to pretty much anyone who was looking for this type of a solution.” Matthew Knight: SVP, Product and Technology
Quote From Matthew Knight: SVP, Product and Technology
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