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Transforming Platform Engineering Through Chargeback Programs with Shuchi Mittal

Shuchi Mittal, the Head of Cloud enablement at Honeywell, discusses how she as a leader in platform engineering has been able to transform internal platform engineering teams at other organizations by providing teams with value-added services, and how they effectively managed costs. She talks about how to treat these teams as customers, and delivering services that meet the customer needs, but also charging them for their usage.

By providing policy-compliant infrastructure and unique services tailored to their requirements, platform engineering teams can showcase their commitment to supporting the success of other teams within an organization. This approach not only fosters trust but also positions platform engineering as a strategic partner rather than just a service provider. By going beyond the basic infrastructure provisioning, the platform engineering team can offer services that help development and product teams streamline their processes and improve efficiency.

Shuchi shares her work at Fiserv where she implemented a chargeback system to track usage and costs effectively, incentivizing better development practices. This not only helped in managing costs but also encouraged teams to optimize their resource utilization, leading to improved overall efficiency and more easily scalable systems. Her platform engineering team recognized the importance of effectively managing financial aspects to secure upfront investment for product development. By implementing a billing system based on gigabyte hours, they aligned costs with usage, enabling teams to have a clear understanding of their resource consumption. This approach not only provided transparency but also incentivized teams to adopt cost-effective practices.

By strategically managing financial aspects, the platform engineering team gained the trust of stakeholders and secured the necessary resources to drive innovation and deliver value to the organization. Shuchi’s journey of platform engineering serves as a valuable example of how a team can transition from being a basic service provider to becoming an innovation partner within an organization. By building trust, offering value-added services, and strategically managing financial aspects, the platform engineering team successfully elevated their role and became a strategic enabler of innovation.

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