CIO Perspective Series: Maximizing Cloud Investments with FinOps

Learn more about FinOps, the state of FinOps in 2022, and maximizing cloud investments with FinOps and its inherent culture of collaboration.

In their search for new levels of innovation, business agility and transformation, organizations are flocking to the cloud. Cloud services do deliver these benefits and more. However, at times this reliance on the cloud results in blown forecasts and budgets. This all-too-common challenge is why FinOps originated. Indeed, it’s also the reason for the widespread adoption of FinOps around the globe and across every major industry. In this latest episode of our CIO perspective series, Snow Software CIO Al Pooley provides his advice on maximizing cloud investments with FinOps and the value he’s found in bringing cross-functional teams together. 

Two-sided benefits to FinOps

Most people who know FinOps probably think maximizing cloud investments with FinOps equals reducing cloud costs. They may not realize, however, that FinOps implementation is a clever way to make money, too. Cloud spend can drive more revenue, grow a customer base, enable more product development and speed feature releases. FinOps is about removing roadblocks from these functions and empowering your engineering teams to deliver better results more frequently.

The culture of FinOps

As Al points out in the video, FinOps is a major departure from the datacenter and server management of past IT teams. According to the FinOps Foundation, of which Al is a certified member, FinOps is primarily a cultural practice. Finance and business leadership teams share a common language and processes to support the benefits of cloud without overspending. The cross-functional teams understand the vast value of cloud and the organization’s budget rationale. Together, they make informed trade-offs between agility, cost and quality. 

Principles of FinOps

The FinOps Foundation has outlined six primary principles to guide FinOps activities:

  1. Teams need to collaborate
  2. Everyone takes ownership for their cloud usage
  3. A centralized team drives FinOps
  4. Reports should be accessible and timely
  5. The cloud’s business value drives decisions
  6. Take advantage of the variable cost model of the cloud

State of FinOps in 2022

Undoubtedly, FinOps Foundation principles are important for FinOps teams to follow. However, research also shows there is no single path to success. The road to FinOps is a journey in which no two experiences are the same. The FinOps Foundation’s State of FinOps 2022 survey offers an in-depth look at the diversity of FinOps teams and their progress. They divide their respondents across maturity stages of pre-crawl, crawl, walk and run. Unfortunately, those who are crawling far outnumber those who are running.

The value of FinOps/ITAM collaborations

As FinOps teams try to maximize cloud investments with FinOps in a cost-effective manner, IT asset managers work in parallel toward the same goal. Together, they manage the entirety of an organization’s technology assets. In recent years, the shift of cloud application purchasing decisions from IT to individual business units has made this effort much more challenging for IT asset managers. This shift limits IT asset visibility for these managers. The resulting blind spots can mean overpayments, compliance failures and security risks. 

Maximizing cloud investments with FinOps and Snow Cloud Cost

FinOps and ITAM often address similar issues. Yet, as Snow EVP of Cloud Management Jay Litkey explains, there’s a significant financial information gap between FinOps and ITAM. Certainly, bridging this gap would streamline processes and provide visibility, cost savings, and governance to multicloud environments. 

To address this need and assist organizations with cloud cost optimization, Snow Software recently entered a strategic partnership with Anodot. Together, we announced the creation of Snow Cloud Cost. Snow Cloud Cost delivers full visibility into cloud consumption. As a result, teams can optimize usage, accurately forecast and budget costs, drive more informed decision-making and right-size their cloud services. 

At Snow, we believe data and insights around an organization’s complete technology stack — also known as Technology Intelligence — enable better decision-making, fuel more innovation, and increase collaboration while reducing risk. These insights are critical for FinOps and ITAM teams alike and we’re excited about what it will do for growing organizations. 

Have you seen our previous CIO Perspective posts on how to start an ITAM practice, technology visibility and how to free up funds for innovation? Also look out for our next installment on Snow Atlas, our next-generation platform for Technology Intelligence.