Teams working with FinOps, the field of cloud financial management, are expected to grow 40% in 2021 according to a new report from the FinOps Foundation, a Linux Foundation non-profit trade association focused on codifying and promoting cloud financial management best practices and standards. The survey of over 800 FinOps practitioners – with a collective $30+ billion in annual cloud spend – underscores the need for more education around how to manage cloud finances.
Key survey findings include:
- Nearly half of survey respondents (49%) had little or no automation of managing cloud spend—one of the core disciplines of a FinOps practice.
- Of those with some automation, almost one-third rely only on automated notifications (31%) and tagging hygiene (29%); only 13% automated rightsizing and 9% spot use, which indicates that companies are likely missing opportunities to optimize cloud spend.
- Half of compute spend on public cloud was for on-demand, the highest-price service, and 49% for reserved, savings or committed use coverage, the next costliest option. Only 13% was for spot use, the least expensive service, even though respondents identified 28% as being an “excellent” target for that option.
- Getting engineers to act on cost optimization was cited by 40% of respondents as the biggest challenge, followed by dealing with shared costs (33%) and accurate forecasting spend (26%).
- Just 15% of respondents said their FinOps practice was in the “run” phase of maturity, meaning they can continually improve a built out practice. Four in 10 firms are in the “walk” phase, with core processes running but with much maturing remaining, and 44% are in the “crawl” phase and just getting to basics.
There are resources to help. Those who are directly involved with or responsible for cloud spend should also consider advanced training and certification. The FinOps Certification Practitioner exam allows individuals in a large variety of cloud, finance and technology roles to validate their FinOps knowledge and enhance their professional credibility by testing them on FinOps fundamentals and an overview of key concepts in each of the three sections of the FinOps lifecycle: Inform, Optimize and Operate. Instructor-led and online training options are available to help gain the skills necessary to succeed in a role managing cloud finances, and to be prepared to pass the exam.
For total newbies – whether they be technical professionals (IT, DevOps, engineers, architects), finance, procurement, and accounting professionals, business unit or product managers, or executives – the FinOps Foundation partnered with Linux Foundation Training & Certification to offer a free Introduction to FinOps self-paced, online training course. This is a great resource for your whole organization to learn the benefits of implementing FinOps best practices, and the dangers of ignoring cloud spend.
As cloud usage continues to accelerate and costs increase, skills managing these costs are paramount. Gaining the necessary education to do so can help your organization manage cloud spend more efficiently, and also give you an in demand skill set that will benefit your career into the future.