Client Improves Cloud Usage Efficiency by 297% in 9 Months
Marketing technology, or martech, is one of the fastest growing segments in the software sector. But martech is also highly competitive. Today, there are nearly 10,000 vendors worldwide and an annual growth of 24% since 2020, according to CDP.com.
Setting out to improve competitiveness in this environment, one of the world’s largest martech companies looked to increase the profitability of its products and platforms. The company partnered with its long-term software services provider, SoftServe, to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud services usage. The goal was to lower costs and deliver a greater ability to scale as its business grows.
The company, formed through mergers and acquisitions over many years, is privately held and provides an integrated platform. This platform allows marketers to access all aspects of their marketing programs in one place, making it easy to roll out even the most complex and personalized user experiences. Its customers span leading brands across several continents.
Following a series of mergers and acquisitions that turned SoftServe’s client into a market leader, the company needed to position itself for cost-effective growth. It also needed to ensure its existing systems were properly maintained and supported current operations. Its digital marketing platform — the core of the business — runs on AWS.
The client wanted to shift from cloud resource provisioning based on anticipated needs to an auto-scaling model that adapts dynamically, and provisions cloud resources based on actual demand. This approach would help the client achieve operational excellence and optimal cost performance.
The client and SoftServe developed a strategy to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of its AWS Cloud services usage. SoftServe started with an architecture assessment and billing data analysis to reveal how its cloud usage can improve.
To achieve these goals and upgrades, in February 2021, SoftServe offered a creative, value-based digital analytics AWS Cloud cost savings proposal. The proposal included automation testing, CI/CD PoC and improvements, Oracle-to-Snowflake migration, MQ to SQS migration, Terraform and DevOps optimization, application re-architecture and modernization, and cloud-native solutions.
This method saved money and allowed the client to optimize performance. This resulted in greater efficiency, which, in turn, reduced the cost of goods sold in support of the company’s ambitious growth agenda.
A collaborative, multidisciplinary team (DevOps, senior software engineers, big data architects, and solution architects) of both the client and SoftServe launched the initiative, including:
- Analysis of billing data from AWS Cost Explorer, monitoring data from AWS CloudWatch, and Grafana trends and spikes.
- Drill-down and analysis of top spending categories and ways to optimize them.
- Architecture assessment with a quality attribute workshop using the architecture tradeoff analysis method to identify possible redesign approaches that can optimize costs.
- Application of AWS Well-Architected Framework principles to ensure optimal spending.
- Analysis of wasted Kubernetes resources using the automatic toolset.
- Analysis of data flow by experts from Big Data Group.
- Analysis of the client’s application business goals and metrics (e.g., “generating and selling a report to their client”) and coming up with a SoftServe reward model as a function of optimized dollars cost per report.
- Preparation of a discovery report with a prioritized list of cost-saving initiatives (resizing, enabling auto-scaling, re-architecting), high-level implementation plan, and estimated savings amounts with plus or minus 5% accuracy.
This cloud optimization initiative gave rise to other important projects, such as:
- Maintenance and support
- UI/UX modernization
- Continuous integration and continuous delivery modernization
- Automated testing modernization to manage the migration to Google Looker
- Data platform and data-lake modernization
By improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its AWS usage, the client has saved between $200,000 to $300,000 per month since January 2022 and achieved an ROI of 297%. The company also continues to improve its infrastructure and cloud management.
As a result of the program, SoftServe is teaming up with the client on several other projects to support its business growth strategy.
The client now has a clear understanding of what parts of its architecture are most expensive. It applies recommended techniques to optimize costs, such as using auto-scaling for data analytics clusters and applying the most cost-efficient block and object storage types.
The client has an ambitious operational excellence goal for the next year to achieve even higher cloud cost savings. It works with SoftServe in different areas to meet this goal, such as a DWH re-platforming project to decrease license costs, Kubernetes resources optimization to avoid resource waste, and implementing cost savings techniques to non-production environments during non-business hours.