StudyLink Connect realises a 19% cost saving in 30 days with NCS NEXT FinOps


StudyLink Connect is Australia’s leading cloud-based international admissions solution used by the majority of Australian Universities, TAFE providers and Independent Colleges. The platform enables education providers to receive and manage quality applications from applicants, agents and recruitment partners.

StudyLink Connect’s platform is underpinned by AWS services and costs have steadily increased over the past three years based on ongoing success, resulting in increased utilisation of the platform.


StudyLink Connect’s engineering team recently kicked off a cost optimisation exercise with the aim of reducing wastage, identifying underutilised assets and optimising the current investment in cloud. However, the team quickly realised they required a single pane of glass into their cloud consumption and a partner to identify cost saving opportunities on an ongoing basis, allowing the engineering team to focus on continued innovation.

StudyLink Connect engaged our team to implement a cost management tool, perform a baseline cost assessment and provide ongoing enablement, leveraging the teams several years’ experience optimising some of Australia’s largest AWS environments in addition to in-depth familiarity with the AWS ecosystem.


Within 7 days, a detailed cost optimisation assessment was completed and within 30 days of the engagement kick-off, StudyLink Connect’s monthly cost was reduced by a staggering 19%.

Several initiatives were undertaken including:

  • Committing workloads which were forecasted to remain operational for 12 months.
  • Underutilised instance identification and removal.
  • Wastage identification and removal.

The most important success factor was support for change across Studylink Connect, from the Engineering Lead to the CEO, resulting in the immediate implementation of identified optimisation opportunities.


At the end of the 30-day period, several great outcomes were achieved:
  • Wastage had been reduced by 100% with all underutilised resources removed.
  • Commitments were applied to 75% of long-term workloads
  • Rightsizing had been undertaken on several large instances
  • Storage optimisation resulting in a 75% cost reduction and, more importantly, a performance increase. 

Post the optimisation exercise, automated policies have been configured to monitor costs and usage on an ongoing basis, ensuring StudyLink’s cloud environment remains optimised in anticipation of their expected growth over the next 12 months.

StudyLink Connect’s Head of Technology, Steven Atkins, said having our team act as an extension of the engineering team resulted in rapid implementation and the familiarity with AWS services and optimisation methods was noteworthy:

“Working with a partner who didn’t have to be incentivised to, not only save us money, but proactively implement governance frameworks to ensure we didn’t fall back into the same processes and lack of cost awareness which prompted this exercise, was refreshing.”

Our team continues to provide ongoing monitoring and optimisation advisory to the StudyLink Connect team and are working with the Engineering team to establish a FinOps Operating Model.

If you’re struggling to take the first step in your FinOps journey or would like a an independent assessment of your cloud environment’s optimation opportunities, reach out to the team via