A Business Application is the solution developed by an IT area to improve and accelerate the pace at which a business can perform it’s tasks. Developing a business application covers many disciplines and incurs costs from a variety of services. Cloud based solutions have complicated managing the cost of an application because not only are there multiple services, there are multiple providers.
The image below depicts where these investments are made when developing a Business Application.
Another way to organize your IT costs is to track it in terms of the services engaged to build, deploy and run the application. The below example depicts the separation of business and IT around services.
There are three main entities for tracking costs: Consumer, Service and Provider. The Consumer is the entity getting benefit from the service. The Service aspect is some measurable and manageable aspect of service units (e.g. OS Instance, Storage GB or Labor Hours). Provider is the entity providing the service. Defining who the providers are and tangible services is the first step in understanding the cost of Business Application.
This same structure would work when tracking cloud computing costs. Basically, align the services you are getting from your cloud provider with the services. For example, a Web Hosting cloud solution will include Network, OS, and Storage services for your website.