Integrated FinOps controls are essential to optimize your cloud strategy and achieve greater business outcomes. Cloud strategies that are out of sync with FinOps cause rising inefficiencies, as operational practices do not contribute to strategic imperatives.
More than simply watching cloud spend, effective FinOps enhances enterprise transparency. Clear vision of your cloud infrastructure clarifies utility rates versus OPEX costs, and proactively enables mitigation of unnecessary expenditures and process optimization.
Identifying the specific processes to optimize, and how, can be a daunting challenge. Use these guiding principles to align your FinOps operations with cloud strategy objectives across the 4 operational areas.
Effective and efficient cloud enterprises function as strategic enablers of other business functions. Providing cloud services access and expertise enhances business unit efficiencies and contributes to the development of a culture of cloud enablement. Transforming operational processes to support this cultural development with FinOps is a three-step process:
Phase 1 – Map and optimize infrastructure FinOps
teams should ensure transparency of communications between units, platforms, and team roles within the broader cloud strategy and operating model. FinOps best practices can be tailored to accelerate broader cloud processes based on operational requirements
Phase 2: Conduct stakeholder training
Next, embed practices and tools within the organization via stakeholder training. Every stakeholder should become familiar with FinOps roles and points of enablement within their operational purview. A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) can function as a shared knowledge center and facilitate training, while the FinOps team ensures it effectively links operational best practices with strategic business outcomes
Phase 3: Cloud culture enabled
Lastly, note that enterprise-wide cloud fluency will take the pressure off of the CCoE and FinOps teams, which better enables (and trusts) business units to leverage cloud capabilities and enhance their own business performance. A healthy culture of cloud enablement takes full advantage of cloud support
Stakeholders at all levels – from strategic leadership to implementation leaders – rely on steady data and metrics outputs (e.g., dashboards, reports, recommendations) to refine their operations and contribute to strategic objectives. FinOps teams must ensure that their organization’s analytical tools and user feedback produce the right data to drive continual improvement and optimization actions.
Fully mapped cloud infrastructure enables accurate costing of ongoing processes in real time. FinOps teams can capture data analytics, set appropriate metrics and targets, and forecast trends and growth. Consolidated cost and efficiency views will create baselines and predictions that correspond to the stages of cloud strategy and capabilities rollout.
At an operational level, these projections provide stakeholders with a detailed and cohesive understanding of cross-team process interactions. They also give teams an evaluation framework when reporting on performance or costs.
At the strategic level, executive leadership can derive emergent patterns from these cost views and determine what adjustments are needed. CCoE and FinOps teams in turn refer to the adjustments to optimize processes further and plan for evolving needs.
FinOps teams should work with senior leadership and the CCoE to earmark operational areas for optimization. Although specific improvements will differ from one enterprise to another, the following best practices broadly apply to every cloud ecosystem:
Prioritize application portfolios for cost optimization. Applications are the greatest single source of cost inefficiencies and correspondingly provide the most visible, immediate, and comprehensive savings opportunities and measurable results
Standardize SDLC practices. Establish uniform, reusable tools, reference architectures, and templates to ensure consistency, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness across solutions and throughout the software lifecycle
Implement dynamic IT scaling. Remember that potentially infinite resource scaling comes with potentially infinite costs! Implement dynamic controls for all cloud resource types to scale up and evolve down according to fluctuating demand
Extensive adjustments to cloud enterprises are to be expected – even with the best-laid and executed migrations or development plans. Implemented solutions will require adaptation or replacement as cloud infrastructure needs and capabilities change.
Beyond assessing performance and evaluating specific processes, FinOps teams should stay on top of emerging and unique cloud capabilities. Evaluating potential PaaS and SaaS replacements for cost-effectiveness and cohesion within an IaaS ecosystem is critical to integrating the best solutions to strategic and operational needs.
Although some operational areas are universal, strategy-FinOps cohesion is dictated by existing channels between strategic imperatives and working practices, as well as enterprise state and desired outcomes. Optimization processes are unique to the enterprise, and expert advisory is recommended to achieve optimal synergy.
Need help synergizing cloud strategy and FinOps? Talk to a Wavestone expert for assistance.
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