Case Study
DFDS' cloud environment
Company Size

14,000+ employees


Transportation and Logistics


Copenhagen, Denmark

About DFDS

DFDS is a shipping and logistics company that provides maritime freight and passenger transportation services. The company offers Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) shipping, container shipping, and passenger shipping as well as terminal and trailer services. DFDS’s clients operate in a range of sectors including automotive, retail, seafood, forest products, and chemicals. Passenger services include short and overnight sea ferries, mini cruises, group events, and conferences at sea. With headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, the company conducts business via subsidiaries across Northern and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and adjacent countries. 

“Our investment in Finout paid off quickly- we covered its cost within days and achieved a 150% ROI within the first week!”

Jan Wiberg | Cloud Architect

DFDS’s FinOps challenge

While it may sound surprising for a non-technology company to have substantial cloud costs, the nature of DFDS’s business requires significant cloud-based IT. With over 14,000 employees spread out across 180 offices and 25-30 ports in Europe, cloud infrastructure is necessary to be able to monitor the vast array of transportation activities taking place throughout the company in real-time.  

Constant online activity, from passenger trip bookings to container reservations, along with significant IT needs in the terminals themselves require complex software solutions. For example, as trucks enter terminals, a system is in place to scan license plates and match them with bookings to facilitate automatic gate opening and entry to the terminal.  

To build the software necessary to run and manage the company’s operations, DFDS has approximately 250-300 in-house developers, all of whom use cloud-based services. The majority of the software runs on AWS, but they also use Azure and Kubernetes, as well as data warehousing platforms. Given the diverse projects and large number of developers, each team works autonomously and needs to be aware of their cloud costs to optimize spending. 

A cloud architect was tasked with creating a system for developers to monitor their spending. The initial effort involved manually aggregating each developer’s costs from multiple providers and cost centers, and then presenting the findings in a PowerPoint presentation. While the information provided was useful to developers, it was extremely time-consuming and quickly became obsolete as the company grew and management also began to express interest in comprehensive cloud cost information. 

“The goal was to get a holistic view for all developers and establish an advanced FinOps frame of mind so that everyone could be accountable. It’s not possible to do that with a BI tool.”

Jan Wiberg | Cloud Architect

Why Finout?

As it became clear that PowerPoint reports were inadequate, DFDS embarked on a mission to find a FinOps tool that would meet their needs. They evaluated several platforms, looking specifically for capabilities such as cost-allocation, multi-cloud functionality, and automation ability all while being price-sensitive. 

“I assessed various tools, including Finout, and found their value to be exceptional. It was clear to me that Finout would be our preferred choice for DFDS.”

Jan Wiberg | Cloud Architect

The primary attraction to Finout was the Virtual Tagging feature, making it possible to easily create a holistic view. The inherent flexibility allows developers and management to view costs per environment, business unit, or any other specific preference. 

The results of onboarding Finout’s cloud observability platform

“I hate manual reports and was so happy that now I can provide the necessary cost and usage data to the relevant people in just a few clicks.”

Jan Wiberg | Cloud Architect

DFDS gradually integrated Finout into their work processes, with an initial trial period designed to encourage developers to learn about and embrace the FinOps concept. Fortunately, they have been eager to adapt and very quickly began to see the benefits. Within a week of using Finout, the company achieved a 150% ROI as developers were made aware of extraneous spending that could be curbed.

“When we started making the data available to developers, we very quickly got feedback that people were noticing things they had forgotten to turn off.”

Jan Wiberg | Cloud Architect

Avoid spiraling costs

For example, one development team set up a dashboard in AWS that cost a certain amount of money each time it was refreshed. It was being refreshed 6 times a minute, costing $1000 per day. Before Finout, it could have taken a week or more to notice such a major spike in costs since spending was only monitored once a week or so. With Finout, this unnecessary spending was noticed immediately leading to swift cost control measures. 

Better cost governance 

To prevent situations like the above from happening at all, DFDS uses Finout’s cost governance features. Setting budgets for specific services provides developers with peace of mind knowing that they will receive an automated alert should their spending exceed the budgeted amount. 

Tailored visibility 

Developers and management alike now have better cloud-cost visibility than ever before, available in a more efficient way. What used to take 4 hours to produce a PowerPoint report that still didn’t meet all of the company’s needs can now be achieved in a few simple clicks. Virtual Tags simplify the creation of customized dashboards so that developers and managers can see the data that is most relevant to their needs. 

The bottom line

Finout is helping DFDS build a culture of FinOps-awareness at all levels. Everyone - from developers to senior managers - can use their own personalized dashboards to maintain a clear view of costs per service, per business unit, or any other relevant breakdown. 

With an ongoing strong relationship with the Finout team, DFDS plans to expand their use of the platform, continue to benefit from new features, and watch their cloud-cost efficiency continue to soar. 


Key results for DFDS
  • Achieved a 150% ROI within the first week due to Finout’s ability to pinpoint unnecessary spending. 
  • Helping DFDS adopt a FinOps culture, adopted by both developers and management. 
  • Significant time-savings while providing enhanced visibility into cloud spend. 

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