At least in Germany, for years I have observed that "IT budget responsibility" has been an element for more senior people/management(-like) positions.

Now within a cloud, every user can see how his/her activity correlates with costs, and every decision to use one or another resource is in fact budget responsibility.

Does this now mean less budget responsibility for the management? (=delegation to everybody, compared say to travel costs)?

  • I'd be very surprised if a company worked on the basis that every MB you use of cloud space is your responsibility and it's your duty to minimise this. In practice, the actions of employees will affect each other's resource usage. There is more likely to be group budgets, often based on previous years' IT budgets, and possibly some kind of cap, but until there is a shortfall or limitation, people won't notice much. It seems unlikely that companies will care about your precise share of cloud storage/computation budgets any more than they'll care about your share of electricity or coffee.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 29 '21 at 15:16
  • Now within a cloud, every user can see how his/her activity correlates with costs, and every decision to use one or another resource is in fact budget responsibility. - Where did you get that from? Office 365 and Azure don't allow access to billing information for all users. I'd be very surprised if AWS and GCP allowed such access for all users. How is it that all users can see the cost related to their specific consumption of services? Do you have an example?
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 29 '21 at 15:47

I think it will have the opposite effect if everybody would be responsible for their own cloud costs.

It will add much more overhead for management. Imagine you are a manager that used to be responsible for the full budget of your department, with 12 people. First you just had to make sure your cloud costs were within whatever limit you have. After this delegation, now you will need to have budget discussions with all your 12 team members. And in the end, you are still responsible for the team's budget as the manager, but now with the added fun of 12 discussions on cost optimization.

  • Yes; for this reason I think organisations are unlikely to be worried to account for each kilobyte, and will probably budget for an overall figure or per department/per project.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 29 '21 at 15:19

This comes down to management style. You could tell people they shall judge costs and estimate if their solutions are cost efficient. Different people will have different opinions and judgements on this.


Using Service A over Service B will cost an additional amount X, but save Y time. Timepressured Dev: Sounds good to me!

In the end, management is responsible, and it's their decision how much of that responsibilty they delegate and how they ensure this is handled in their sense.


Most SaaS/Cloud offerings provide administrative control over end users' available resources and therefore end-user cost. Unless the service administrator has specifically provided the end-user with permissions to provision additional services, storage, resources, ... then the administrator is still in control of the cost.

If you are specifically asking about an end-users' ability to purchase SaaS or cloud services independently then that is is entirely dependent upon the policies and procedures of the business. I can't imagine any business that is concerned about cost control allowing this without some oversight and control.

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