How to Get Your Organization Started with FinOps
It’s a weird time in the global economy: Low unemployment — except for all the people in the tech industry who’ve been laid off. High inflation and high-interest rates. A jittery stock market and the looming threat of recession.
No wonder everyone’s looking to squeeze more value from their operations.
In this episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, Uma Daniel, a product manager at UST, a digital transformation services company, schooled our audience on FinOps — a practice aimed at helping organizations get control of their cloud costs.
But it’s a lot more than that, she said. “A lot of people think that cloud FinOps is only concerned with cloud cost management or cloud cost control. But that’s not the case. The real objective is to make sure we make more money using the cloud.”
Thinking about the cloud as a means of generating revenue is a big cultural change for many organizations, said Daniel. FinOps “connects business, finance, procurement, etc. So everybody needs to be onboarded to this idea of a cultural shift mindset.”
This conversation was sponsored by UST.
Identifying FinOps Champions
In addition to the idea that not everyone is aware that their use of the cloud should be generating revenue, Daniel said, people in an organization may have misconceptions about who should be involved in a FinOps process; some think that only engineers, or only the finance team, should be involved.
“It’s a collaborative effort, everybody needs to work on it together,” Daniel said.
Also, she added, there’s “this concept that people think that only people who are already using the cloud should adopt FinOps, which I think is also wrong because the right time to actually adopt it would be at the beginning of the journey.”
Once an organization has already moved to the cloud and begun working in a new way, it’s harder to introduce FinOps, Daniel said, because the teams are already set in their ways of working.
Collaboration, though, can be challenging, she said. “The way an engineering team thinks is very different from the way a business team thinks. And so it’s kind of natural that all these teams are sort of working in silos, and they don’t really talk to each other.”
To start breaking down those divisions, Daniel recommended finding out which people among the various teams are willing to champion a FinOps initiative and invite them to join a cross-functional team to lead the project. “Some people are naturally better collaborators than the others,” she noted.
That governing committee should meet regularly and set some generic policies to start, Daniel said: “If you have a budget for each project, then that’s also a sort of guideline, which helps people to keep their cloud spend under control.”
Check out the full episode to learn more about how to start and implement a FinOps initiative, including how to identify some of the most common ways in which organizations waste cloud resources.