For many organizations, migrating to the Cloud is a necessary step towards a more flexible model that can greatly improve team productivity, while increasing their autonomy and collaborative spirit. These companies are right. But (because there is always a but), the migration of many companies is often accompanied by a bad surprise: the Cloud costs more than a traditional on-premise system. However, that is not how it is presented.
At first glance, the Cloud would be a miracle solution that brings you all the benefits of the modern world, without costing you more. That is not true, but it is not totally false. A controlled cloud is a profitable investment, both from the point of view of DevOps teams, but also from the point of view of financial teams. To make the link between these two "worlds" and respond to these new issues related to cloud costs, a new player is emerging in many companies: FinOps.
1 - Who is really FinOps?
A - How to define FinOps?
To put it simply: FinOps is a double profile that links the technical and financial aspects of the Cloud. As its name suggests, and in comparison to DevOps (which links development and operations), FinOps links financial and operational aspects. Faced with these issues of cloud expense management, many companies are becoming aware of the importance of optimising the management of their cloud resources to reduce their monthly invoices.
This atypical profile can either take on this mission alone or be part of a team dedicated to optimizing Cloud expenses, depending on the size of the company and its consumption of Cloud resources.
B - Why has FinOps become unavoidable?
Quite recent and not yet well established in the collective imagination, the name "FinOps" therefore aims to address the major issue of the Cloud recently: how to optimize my expenses? In other words: how do I pay for what I REALLY consume?
The needs expressed by companies in implementing a FinOps strategy are linked to several changes in their operating habits.
First, the profound paradigm shift induced by the massive migration to the Cloud. The flexibility and speed of the Cloud being at the origin of new working methods, the company must adapt to new operating modes that require different management and management. At the heart of this subject, cloud pricing has a direct impact on the different levels in the company. DevOps and financial teams are confronted with a new invoicing method and expenses that are difficult to identify or control. The implementation of a FinOps strategy therefore allows the company to gradually adapt to this new operating mode and promotes a smooth migration to the Cloud.
If the strategy has not been anticipated in advance, companies often face unpleasant surprises, which naturally lead them to a different approach. Indeed, the migration to the Cloud often leads IT teams to lose control of their Cloud expenses. Resources are multiplying, instances are piling up and bills are inexorably increasing, without anyone really being able to understand why. The integration of a FinOps profile into an IT team can thus make it possible to cope with this loss of control, to restore sound, sustainable foundations and a strategy to control Cloud expenses.
In order to carry out its missions, FinOps often needs monitoring or visualization tools that allow it to obtain a concrete vision of its Cloud ecosystem. In the case of multi-cloud environments, it is necessary to be able to centralize all billing data in a dedicated space, which allows the different expense items to be put in parallel, with no limit of suppliers. That is what we are proposing. If you want to know more, you can contact us or try our platform for free!
2 - FinOps missions
Within the IT ecosystem, FinOps must be able to meet three major challenges.
A - Control
To have a real impact on Cloud invoicing and achieve real savings over time, the first mission of FinOps (or the dedicated team) will be to obtain real visibility on Cloud resources, so that permanent control can be put in place. In a single-cloud environment, the idea will be to monitor through the cost-management tools generally offered by suppliers. However, beware of non-explicit costs, such as the cost of data transfers, which are often the cause of unpleasant surprises at the end of the month. This is why a Cloud Cost Management tool like Lota.cloud can be useful, even in a single-cloud environment.
In a multi-cloud environment, the multiplication of suppliers and modes of operation makes visibility on spending more delicate. More than anywhere else, FinOps makes sense. It is up to him to find the tools adapted to his needs, to obtain a centralized view and set up permanent control.
B - Understanding
Now that visibility and control are in place, it is now possible to immerse yourself in a concrete way in the analysis and understanding of your Cloud expenses. This is the key role of FinOps. It is useless to get a good visibility on all your cloud resources if no one is able to understand their meaning and draw meaningful conclusions.
In the quest for a profitable cloud, analysis is therefore at the heart of the process. The entire strategy is based on a better understanding of the sources of expenditure and a clear identification of areas of waste. In concrete terms, FinOps' role is therefore to identify underutilized resources, while remaining aware of the technical and functional needs of its IT teams. This is where his double hat comes in, to make the link between financial objectives and technical needs.
C - Optimize
Control is good. Analysis and understanding is already better. But what really matters is the final invoice. In concrete terms: is my Cloud profitable?
The road that brings companies here is sometimes long and fraught with obstacles. But optimization is presented as a reward, a purpose, a relief. Thanks to the centralization of information, better visibility and a true understanding of the sources of expenses according to the company's challenges, FinOps can then enter an operational phase. His ability to identify the best ways to optimize and implement them quickly and efficiently will make him a formidable weapon for the company.
You have understood: FinOps is a crucial hybrid profile in this quest for profitability. If you want to migrate to the Cloud, think about adopting an effective strategy upstream, to avoid unpleasant surprises at the first invoice. If you are facing difficulties in managing your Cloud expenses, there is still time to react by finding the most appropriate profile for your team. And to make his daily work easier, remember to provide him with high-performance tools.