What is the purpose of cloud cost allocation and showback?

Cloud cost allocation and showback are crucial aspects of managing resources in a cloud computing environment. Let's delve into the technical details of each:

Cloud Cost Allocation:

Cloud cost allocation is the process of assigning and attributing costs associated with cloud resources to different departments, teams, projects, or individuals within an organization. It helps in understanding and optimizing the usage of cloud resources by identifying the specific costs incurred by each entity.


  1. Financial Transparency:
    • Granular Reporting: Cloud cost allocation enables organizations to break down costs at a granular level, providing detailed insights into resource consumption.
    • Budgeting and Planning: It helps in creating accurate budgets and forecasts by understanding the cost implications of each department or project.
  2. Resource Optimization:
    • Identifying High-Cost Areas: By allocating costs to specific entities, organizations can identify areas where resource usage is high, helping in optimizing and right-sizing instances.
    • Cost Control: It facilitates monitoring and controlling expenses by identifying inefficient resource utilization.
  3. Chargeback Mechanism:
    • Billing and Invoicing: Cloud cost allocation lays the foundation for implementing a chargeback mechanism, where departments or projects are billed based on their actual resource consumption.
  4. Decision-Making:
    • Data-Driven Decision-Making: It provides data-driven insights for decision-makers, allowing them to make informed choices about resource allocation and optimization.

Cloud Showback:

Cloud showback is a process of displaying and communicating the allocated costs of cloud resources to the respective stakeholders, without actually charging them. It is a transparent way of showcasing the value and expenses associated with utilizing cloud services.


  1. Awareness and Accountability:
    • Stakeholder Awareness: Showback informs stakeholders about the costs they would incur if they continue using resources at the current rate.
    • Accountability: It promotes accountability as stakeholders are made aware of the financial impact of their resource consumption.
  2. Behavioral Changes:
    • Cost-Conscious Decisions: Showback encourages users to make cost-conscious decisions by making them aware of the financial implications of their actions.
    • Optimization: Users might proactively optimize their resource usage to avoid unnecessary costs.
  3. Communication and Collaboration:
    • Transparent Communication: Showback fosters transparent communication between IT teams, business units, and other stakeholders by providing clear visibility into costs.
    • Collaboration: It facilitates collaboration as stakeholders can discuss and optimize resource usage based on cost information.
  4. Policy Compliance:
    • Policy Adherence: Showback aids in ensuring that users adhere to cost management policies and guidelines set by the organization.