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First Charter member call: what is FinOps?

J.R. Storment
J.R. Storment in Member Calls
22nd March 2019

This week was the first of a 10 week push into FinOps best practices. We’re driving hard to codify the best practices for the upcoming O’Reilly book. Over 35 FinOps practitioners attended the kick-off call, and here are some of highlights from the discussion:

Why do you need FinOps?

“To create a frictionless relationship between tech and finance. Finops lets you get control and enable innovation. Lack of conflict between the two groups is the focus. The Tech team should be focused on giving confidence to Finance that if things don’t go to plan we know what and why that is. When you can give Finance an alert about a spend spike in 24 hours as opposed to a quarter later, it buys a lot of credibility.”

When is a FinOps team successful?

“If my team (FinOps) has done it’s job properly, we don’t need to be in the room between a Finance and Service team. They have all the right tools and language to have conversations on their own.”

What happens if you don’t have a FinOps team?

“[There’s a] culture of waste without FinOps and without the governance and diligence around managing cloud spend. Without the transparency across finance and operations teams, the organizations are more likely to engage in wasteful behaviors.”

How has the role of engineering changed?

“FinOps requires engineers to consider the cost and margin impact of the business. Within engineering, we’ve been able to empower engineers and move more quickly on one side. The other side is the disconnect on the financial impact of just throwing hardware at the problem. I have a lot of engineers who will just throw hardware at it rather than optimize.”

How has role of finance changed?

“Finance needs to become more like Engineering, and Finance needs to think more like Engineering. The way that Finance plans needs to update to accommodate highly variable spend. How do I best enable the business to continue moving forward? Moving past setting budgets that are quickly out of date. How do I report up to financial leadership and help them understand that we need to fundamentally rethink how we are performing our finance function, while also considering how we are reporting to our investors? It’s a rethinking of entrenched thought processes.”

Next week we have two powerhouse speakers from Spotify and HERE technologies talking on building a successful FinOps practice.

Look for key ideas from these talks in future blog posts!

We hope you’ll consider being a named contributor to the book and be one of the first to be certified in FinOps! If you’re a FinOps practitioner, sign up to join the FinOps Foundation.

Until next week, keep breaking down the silos…