Case Study

StepStone Optimises Cloud Costs As Their Job Board Business Scales

12-Months Under Budget
StepStone was successfully under budget for every month within a year of using CloudHealth
Financial Accountability
StepStone has created a cost-conscious organization, where teams are focused on optimization efforts
Consolidated Reports
With a consolidated view into AWS assets, teams can drill-down by region for granular analysis

Stepstone is a global online job board business consisting of over ten top brands. Founded in 1996, StepStone is part of the job board portfolio of Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH, allowing customers to find new employees in more than 135 countries. The company helps match candidates with more than 600,000 jobs per month, and more than 60,000 companies use StepStone for recruitment.

StepStone's cloud challenges

StepStone’s increased adoption of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud is due in large part to the acquisition and migration of their brands. In 2012, the company acquired TotalJobs and migrated their entire production infrastructure from their data centre to AWS. When TotalJobs’ migration was proven a success, more brands within StepStone—like JobSite—migrated to the cloud. AWS became the default cloud for StepStone, who used the service for new product development and to help power their business. As their cloud use continued to accelerate, the company’s finance department saw costs growing at an alarming rate. StepStone identified the need for a cloud service management platform that could help optimise costs and forecast future spend across all of their brands.

Finding a solution

Tristan Greaves, formerly the Head of Development at Jobsite and the lead for their migration to AWS, was promoted to Group AWS Programme Manager at StepStone. Tristan became responsible for overseeing all AWS activities within the company, and was tasked with finding a solution that could help control StepStone’s cloud spend as they continued to scale. Axel Springer recommended that Tristan evaluate the CloudHealth platform. “The trial made it clear that CloudHealth would suit our needs. If something is being used by our related organizations, CloudHealth is the de facto choice for us,” said Tristan.

“CloudHealth is a genuinely great product. When you show it to our DevOps staff, they adopt it quickly and it helps them do their jobs by giving reliable results.”

— Tristian Greaves
Group AWS Programme Manager, StepStone

From day one StepStone saw immediate cost savings by being able to identify assets, such as SQL Servers and databases, that were not properly utilised and incurring significant costs. This savings demonstrates the the positive impact of cloud cost optimisation efforts on StepStone’s business. Reflecting on the decision to adopt CloudHealth, Tristan stated, “There’s a common industry saying that ‘no one ever got fired for buying IBM’. That’s how we feel about CloudHealth, we consider it a sound investment. We’ve successfully been under budget for every month this year using CloudHealth.”

The results

With visibility into spend by environment, team, and brand, StepStone has been able to drive accountability and promote a culture that emphasises the importance of cost optimisation. “CloudHealth is a genuinely great product. When you show it to our DevOps staff, they adopt it quickly and it helps them do their jobs by giving reliable results,” shared Tristan.

When asked what his favourite reports are within the platform, Tristan mentioned the CloudHealth Asset Reports and Cost Savings Report. He has found the CloudHealth Asset Reports to be very informative by providing teams a consolidated view into their AWS assets and allowing them to quickly drill-down to see what regions the assets are in. Tristan’s favourite report of late, is the Cost Savings Report, because it enables his team to easily track their EC2 savings and opportunities across all accounts as they strive to reach an internal target of having 60% of their EC2 Instances under reservations.

With multiple teams across multiple countries, Tristan expressed the multi-faceted nature and immense value StepStone has received from CloudHealth support.

“We are really happy with CloudHealth support. We got the onboarding training we needed which was a great starting point for us and ongoing support has been prompt without any fuss. We have direct access to the people we need access to, not just a faceless support interface that you get with some companies.”

— Tristian Greaves
Group AWS Programme Manager, StepStone

Next steps for StepStone

StepStone is actively creating a ‘Community of Practice,’ commonly known as a ‘Center of Excellence,’ to enable knowledge sharing within the company. The intent is that teams and brands who have migrated already will share their cloud best practices with ones that are just getting started.

As the various brands within StepStone reach new levels of cloud maturity they are beginning to explore microservices, such as Docker and Amazon Elastic Container Service.