FinOps Is Getting a Seat at the Executive Table

Executives have caught onto the FinOps buzz and want to know what it can do for them and their business.

ITPro Today

April 6, 2023

3 Min Read
FinOps concept

Earlier this year I promised a slew of research on FinOps. Today, I published the first in this series on What Technology Executives Need To Know: FinOps. This report is especially timely as FinOps is getting a front row seat with executives globally across verticals and across organizations of all sizes. Amid a growing economic slowdown, efficiency has been the main theme, with FinOps in the driver's seat. FinOps is a term popularized by the FinOps Foundation, which is a part of the Linux Foundation dedicated to helping companies advance their cloud financial management discipline. It was initially born out of Cloudability's customer advisory board (CAB).

In 2023, everyone is asking about FinOps. Almost 80% of my conversations are dominated by FinOps even within other discussions like skills, governance, hybrid cloud, etc. Conversations almost always fall back to FinOps and the question of "How can we manage our spend better?" What started in conversations among frustrated cloud administrators struggling with cloud costs and arduous conversations with finance teams to translate cloud bills has risen in importance — all the way to the C-level. Executives have caught onto the FinOps buzz and want to know what it can do for them and their business.

Related:Why FinOps Is Key to Cloud Cost Optimization

Key Points on FinOps for Execs

When I talk to execs about cloud, the first question that they ask is, "Are we wasting money on cloud?" They want to know if their teams are using the budget to its fullest extent or if dollars are being wasted via poor management. The answer is almost certainly yes if they aren't already working hand in hand with a team to tackle this very challenge. From there, execs want to know what easy optimization tasks can be tackled easily and immediately. Luckily, there are a ton, e.g., scheduling, rightsizing, eliminating zombie instances. However, if you want to make a lasting and impactful difference in your cloud spend — you need a FinOps practice that can bring efficiency, optimize operations, and provide insights that can inform cloud investments for years to come. Consider this:

  • FinOps isn't shorthand for financial operations. Although the name implies it, it is not a cutesy shorthand for modern financial operations the way DevOps is. FinOps is specific to cloud costs and it does claim to be replacing ITFM/TBM initiatives.

  • FinOps doesn't mean you just bought a tool to govern cost. Cloud cost management and optimization is the tool that can help get your cloud costs under control. FinOps is a practice. It requires work — a lot of hard work — both from an operational standpoint and from a cultural perspective. Teams need to change how they identify and visualize costs. Individuals need to be held accountable for their own spend.

  • FinOps isn't a one-time event. It requires constant and consistent action through a centralized team that is orchestrating optimization, implementing automation, and providing a common language across teams on a regular basis.

  • Collaboration is at the heart of FinOps. Yes, you need a platform to visualize and enforce accountability. But this is the first step. All of the proceeding steps require intentional cross-group communication that happens at least daily.

Related:7 Cloud Finance Metrics to Track to Better Control Cloud Costs

To read more, check our report on the Forrester website: What Technology Executives Need To Know: FinOps. And stay tuned for the rest of the series of reports on FinOps.

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This article originally appeared on Forrester's Featured Blogs.

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