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FinOps Foundation Community Highlight: Jordi Espasa Clofent

Stacy Case
Stacy Case in Community Highlight
17th December 2020

We’re back with the next installment of our Community Member Highlight series. This time we’ll be getting to know Jordi Espasa Clofent, Head of FinOps & Tech Procurements at Letgo.

Let’s kick it off with how Jordi describes how he got to this current point in his FinOps career:

“I got a sort of a dual hat here: at one hand I’m making sure we do spend wisely in the Cloud, maximising the value and on the other hand I’m dealing with all non-cloud providers from a more classical procurement standpoint. I’m liaison between technology (engineering) and business (finance and legal).”

What was your path to this kind of career?

I was doing tech procurement in my last two companies before joining letgo. Once I joined letgo, I embraced FinOps, which became instantly appealing to me due to my background as a UNIX engineer.

What does success look like in your role?

When engineering and business (finance especially) team members come to me seeking help and collaboration in regards to cloud spend, I feel like I’m succeeding.

What are the most important KPIs that you track?

In my opinion, the most important KPIs are cloud budget spend vs allocation.

Where do you report in the organization? CIO? CTO? CFO?

Actually we don’t have CIO and CTO, but a Tech General Manager taking care of Technology, Product and Data. We call it PDT VP.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

Of course, the only way to grow and learn is from failures. I don’t recall a big massive failure, but I had a lot of small mistakes in estimations, reservations and such.

At the end I discovered that FinOps is always more complex and delicate than could seem initially and you better double and even triple check all your numbers.

What is the makeup of your team? What roles/skills?

My team is just me at the moment. I navigate equally well engineering and cloud, finance and legal teams.

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why?

I recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport. Is not a book about FinOps, but about the philosophy of working. It has helped me massively in my career.

Where have you had the most success?

Making a two-year estimation for an EDP (Enterprise Discount Program) contract. It did involve a lot of calculations and estimations, but we finally nailed it.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Choosing either confrontation or collaboration as unique solutions to work problems out. 100% confrontation means its own set of challenges as it does as well 100% collaboration; you got to carefully choose between an open dialog and enforcement (toward a goal or progress).

What’s your elevator pitch for what you do to the C-suite?

The very same pitch as what the FinOps Foundation describes indeed: to increase an organization’s ability to understand cloud costs and make tradeoffs, leading to an increased business value of the cloud.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

Reading and practising Deep Work (as recommended by the book reference above).

Do you do chargeback, showback, shameback or other?

Showback, although is not fully implemented yet.

What have you found is the most effective way to get teams to take action on improving cost efficiency?

We work with OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and including FinOps there has been key to make change happen and create the required accountability. We tried in the past just with showback, but didn’t work.

What is one thing you wish you could go back to the beginning of your journey and do differently?

I wish I could go back and focus more on accurate and correct tagging. Once the tagging is properly set, you get the foundation to do the right things. Otherwise you are either blind or misled.

How do you evangelize your work internally? 

With an “open door policy” for all colleagues. Whoever has a FinOps question gets my full attention. I love to set up sessions and teach them.

What tools do you use and for what?

I mainly use AWS Cost Explorer and Apptio Cloudability.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student interested in this area? What advice should they ignore?

Stay curious! Cloud is a rapidly evolving technology and what you learned yesterday will probably be not applicable tomorrow. Keep your mind crisp and learn about the industry tendencies and changes. It’s equally important to participate in a community as FinOps Foundation, which gives you access to a fantastic set of different experiences and perspectives.

Inspiring more people to learn about FinOps

We’d like to thank Jordi for answering our questions and providing insight into his role and for his advice to other FinOps practitioners both new and experienced.

Connect with Jordi in the FinOps Community Slack if you have more questions. If you’re interested in highlighting your story, it’s really easy: make a copy of this template, fill it out, and share it back to us in Slack.

Another way to share is to take the State of FinOps Survey

If interviews and questionnaires aren’t your thing, you’re in luck. We’ve officially kicked off the State of FinOps survey and are taking responses throughout the end of 2020 and into 2021. Filling out the survey means informing our upcoming State of FinOps report where we reveal  data-driven insights that can help practitioners strengthen their FinOps culture and operations.

Not a member yet, please join us (it’s free and full of valuable connections, assets, and community activities)! We welcome everyone wanting to dig into FinOps best practices, stories, teachable moments, and more.

As always, keep on breaking down those silos.