While these AWS spend management tools are sufficient for small AWS and cloud deployments, they encounter problems in multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environments. It is necessary to evaluate if your organization’s current overall cloud strategy makes the use of third-party tools worthwhile.
First, determine how frequently your organization uses non-AWS cloud services, and how these services interact with AWS. For example, an organization that uses Azure or Google Cloud in mission-critical ways will likely need a third-party tool that is agnostic to these other platforms in order to optimize their general cloud spend. Otherwise, your IT team will likely waste time and resources trying to piece together fragments of platform-specific optimization tips, ultimately hindering optimization efforts. With that being said, if your organization does not use any cloud services besides AWS, the tools that come preloaded will likely be sufficient.
Second, consider the size of your AWS deployment. For teams with very small AWS deployments, such as those for test/dev platforms, purchasing separate tools will likely not be necessary. However, organizations with large AWS deployments should absolutely consider using third party tools with sophisticated cost optimization features.
Finally, keep in mind any standards and regulations your organization must comply to. Despite all the benefits of a cloud deployment, the cloud often complicates compliance situations. If your organization is in health care, financial services, or another industry where software compliance is paramount, third-party tools must be considered. While tools like AWS Trusted Advisor are extremely helpful for the majority of organizations, they could potentially lead compliance efforts astray. By using a third-party tool, your organization will have access to sophisticated reporting, and some third-party cloud cost management tools can enable automation and provide additional audit trails.