If you are using the cloud, you need FinOps

The cloud is dynamic, and everything changes quickly. But, with this flexibility and easy resource provisioning, allocating costs and making accurate forecasts is difficult. Enter FinOps, short for cloud financial management, which can help you solve this issue. FinOps is an operating model for cloud, designed to ensure you get the most from your investment based on implementing an effective governance framework and cost controls.

According to a recent report, organizations estimate they are wasting 30% of their cloud spend. That is a significant financial loss, and it will only grow if businesses don’t control their clouds.

The trend for multicloud makes tracking cloud usage even more complex. FinOps is a process that provides financial and operational control for cloud and cloud-related budgets. It can help you better understand your cloud spend and provide valuable insight into managing your enterprise’s cloud consumption. FinOps brings financial accountability to the fluctuating spend model that is the cloud.

As the practice of FinOps evolves, there is much to be done to develop best practices across the enterprise to bring together core functions around planning, consuming, managing and governing cloud services. This includes getting cross-functional teams such as IT, finance and product development to collaborate more closely to enhance business value from cloud computing.

Automation

Automation is essential in the FinOps journey, ensuring consistency and embedding processes in the FinOps framework. This ensures these processes don’t get forgotten or become an afterthought.

Within FinOps, many tasks can be automated. Tagging governance, for example, can ensure policies are continually being followed. Reduction automation can alert team members about cloud usage and if they need to rightsize to meet their workload requirements.

Yet, in a new report from the FinOps Foundation, nearly half of survey respondents (49%) said they had little or no automation of managing cloud spend, one of the core disciplines of FinOps practice. In addition, only 15% of companies regard their FinOps program as “mature,” so there’s a long way to go to get cloud spend fully under control.

Of those that have adopted automation in FinOps, almost 31% rely on automated notifications and 29% on tagging hygiene. Tags are metadata labels that are allocated to resources to track them. Only 13% were using automated rightsizing where instance types and sizes are matched to workloads at the lowest cost and 9% spot use. This uses spare capacity that is available for less than on-demand pricing. Organizations are clearly missing opportunities to optimize cloud spend even with FinOps on board.

FinOps tools and automation can help enterprises to allocate their cloud spend accurately to achieve the most business benefits, while at the same time carry out capacity planning.

Three critical phases to FinOps

The FinOps Foundation recommends an iterative approach to managing your cloud estate built on three core blocks: inform, optimize and operate.

The first step is to provide the organization with visibility and benchmarking, which can help determine budgets and forecasts to manage the unique, on-demand cloud capabilities. The second step is to optimize rightsize capacity and take advantage of cloud provider offers where appropriate. The third step is to operate, continually assessing cloud usage and goals.

Clearly, FinOps is not a tick-box exercise, it is a continuous process, and you have to be in it for the long haul to reap the benefits.

A helping hand

Deploying FinOps can be a daunting task. It requires a change in culture in addition to adopting new tools and methodologies. Therefore, it is little surprise that over 40% of organizations are in the “crawl” phase of adopting FinOps, according to The FinOps Foundation. This is where companies are getting their FinOps basics in place.

At Orange Business Services, we can help speed up the process and optimize your cloud budget coupled with operational excellence. We start with a complete audit of your cloud estate and create a short and long-term objectives roadmap. At the same time, we integrate all processes, including the design, build and run phases, so you only pay for the cloud resources you need and consume. The result is a FinOps solution that works for you and delivers the business outcomes you demand.

Don’t end up hitting the spend panic button

With the cloud, you can unlock incredible agility, scalability and flexibility. But it is very easy to lose track of visibility, especially where multiclouds are concerned, and costs creep up without you noticing. Before you know it, you are hitting the panic button.

Cloud isn’t about spending less; it is about spending budget in the right place for maximum business outcomes. FinOps, its practices, processes and tools, are critical to making the cloud work for you.

FinOps can optimize business costs for your business cloud usage. Find out how.

Glenda Brady
Glenda Brady

Glenda Brady is Managing Director, UK and Ireland at Orange Business Services and has been with Orange Business Services since 1998. A keen and active coach both internally within Orange Business Services and externally, Glenda also supports various programs that encourage women in STEM and has set up a forum in the European organization for women in sales and pre-sales.

She is an avid rugby supporter (and one-time player) and, when not working or supporting her home team, she likes to run marathons.