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The CIO of Liberty Mutual says cost transparency and rationalization are key to avoiding a “tough spot” of ballooning cloud costs.  

Through continuous monitoring and cost transparency, Liberty Mutual has reduced its annual projected cloud expenses by 20% – and it aims to achieve 25% in 2024.  

Liberty Mutual now has about 70% of its IT assets in the cloud, and has been incredibly deliberate in how it has shifted its workloads.  

“We actually have a rationalization strategy where we’re shutting down 100 to 200 systems a year,” Liberty Mutual CIO Monica Caldas told CIO Dive in a recent webinar. “And we’re keeping that close and monitoring it to make sure that we actually do the stewardship part.”  

That’s necessary to avoid the “tough spot” of just lifting-and-shifting, she said: Cloud computing can get expensive, so CIOs need a well-defined plan to manage costs. Rationalization – the process of determining the best way to migrate or modernize apps in the cloud – has been crucial to the insurance firm’s transformation, she said. 

Cost management starts with cost transparency: For example, Liberty Mutual displays costs in its developer consoles, so teams can directly see how their spending has fluctuated from month to month. (For more cloud cost-mitigation advice from experts, check out this recent edition of Insights Distilled.) 

Saving money on cloud costs can ultimately create a “flywheel effect,” Caldas says, where the budget gets funneled into other innovation projects.