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Personas

FinOps Executive Persona

FinOps Practitioner

FinOps practitioners bridge business, IT and Finance teams by enabling evidence-based decisions in near-real time to help optimize cloud use and increase business value. They focus on establishing a FinOps culture and enabling stakeholder teams by demonstrating a working knowledge of the Principles and Capabilities of the FinOps Framework, a prescriptive model of actions and best practices.

See persona details for: FinOps Practitioner

FinOps Executive Persona

Executives

Executives, such as a VP/Head of Infrastructure, Head of Cloud Center of Excellence, CTO, or CIO, focus on driving accountability and building transparency, ensuring teams are being efficient, and not exceeding budgets.

See persona details for: CEO CTO/CIO CFO

FinOps Product Owner Persona

Business/Product Owner

These participants are usually Business and Product Owner team members, such as a Director of Cloud Optimization, Cloud Analyst, or Business Operations Manager.

See persona details for: Product Owner

FinOps engineer Persona

Engineering and Operations

Engineers and Ops team members, such as Lead Software Engineers, Principal Systems Engineers, Cloud Architects, Service Delivery Managers, Engineering Managers, or Directors of Platform Engineering, focus on building and supporting services for the organization. Cost is introduced as a metric in the same way that other performance metrics are tracked and monitored. Members of these teams consider the efficient design and use of resources via activities like rightsizing (the process of resizing cloud resources to better match the workload requirements), allocating container costs, finding unused storage and compute, and identifying whether spending anomalies are expected.

See persona details for: Engineering Lead

FinOps finance Persona

Finance/Procurement

Finance and procurement team members, including Technology Procurement Managers, Global Technology Procurement, Financial Planning and Analyst Managers, and Financial Business Advisors, use the reporting provided by the FinOps team for accounting and forecasting. They work closely with FinOps practitioners to understand historic billing data so that they can build increasingly accurate cost models. They use their forecasts and expertise from the FinOps team to engage in rate negotiations with cloud service providers.

See persona details for: IT Finance Management Procurement

Adopting FinOps: Understanding Executive Personas

When proposing the adoption of a FinOps function within an organization, there will be a need to brief a variety of personas among the executive team to gain approval, buy-in, and involvement in conducting FinOps and achieving its goals.

Each Executive team persona is described below, in terms of their goals, concerns, key messaging and useful KPIs. By understanding the motivations of each executive persona, a FinOps champion will be able to describe the value of FinOps more effectively, minimizing the time and effort to gain alignment. Please see the main Adopting FinOps section for more context.

FinOps Practitioner

Primary Goal Drive best practices into the organization through education, standardization, and cheerleading

Objectives

  • Cultural change flag bearer
  • Create cloud cost management best practices
  • Create benchmarks for teams to use
  • Create visibility and transparency to cloud cost
  • Create or inform cloud budgets and forecasts

Frustrations

  • Lack of access to needed data
  • Distributed accountability
  • Building adoption at enterprise scale
  • Tool reliance that does not deliver capabilities needed

Key Metrics

  • Accurate budgets
  • Accurate forecasts
  • Unit Cost Economics
  • Discount/Reservation coverage
  • Percentage untagged resources
  • Efficiency opportunity

FinOps Benefits

  • Centralized cloud cost management in single cloud or multi-cloud environment
  • Align accountability to cloud users
  • Build confidence around budgets and forecasts
  • Advance communication throughout the organization

CEO

Primary Goal Assurance that cloud investments are aligned with business objectives

Objectives

  • Accelerate Company Growth YoY
  • Strategic Competitive Advantage
  • Faster time-to-market
  • Deliver innovative, market leading solutions cost effectively

Frustrations

  • Unpredictable, sometimes chaotic, cloud spend
  • Unable to see link between engineering initiatives and business objectives
  • Unsure of the return on their company’s cloud investment

Key Metrics

  • Revenue Growth
  • Gross Margins
  • COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)
  • Unit Cost Economics

FinOps Benefits

  • Manage risk
  • Connect engineering decisions with business outcomes
  • Predict how cloud spend will grow as the business grows
  • Guide organization to make good cloud investments

CTO / CIO

Primary Goal Leverage technology to give the business a market and competitive advantage

Objectives

  • Accelerate Company Growth YoY
  • Strategic Competitive Advantage
  • Faster time-to-market
  • Deliver innovative, market leading solutions cost effectively

Frustrations

  • Extreme pressure to either justify or bring the cloud bill down
  • No guardrails on spend
  • Unsatisfied engineers
  • Business continuity
  • Reliability

Key Metrics

  • Revenue Growth
  • Gross Margins
  • COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)
  • Unit Cost Economics
  • Time to market for new features/product
  • Engineering productivity
  • Track R&D vs. Production spend
  • Maintain operations within budget

FinOps Benefits

  • Predict how cloud spend will grow as the business grows
  • Drive organization to make good cloud investments
  • Enable engineering organizations to gain more freedom to utilize newer cloud technologies and deliver solutions to market faster

CFO

Primary Goal

Objectives

  • Cost visibility and granularity, and accuracy
  • Overall cost-per-unit / COGS reduction
  • Managing costs during growth, disproportionate cost reduction during flat/declining periods

Frustrations

  • Unpredictable, sometimes chaotic, cloud spend
  • Unsure of the return on their company’s cloud investment
  • Cost fluctuations and innovation do not align to budgeting cycles

Key Metrics

  • Revenue Growth
  • Gross Margins
  • COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)
  • Unit Cost Economics
  • Predictability

FinOps Benefits

  • Increased accountability for cloud cost
  • Increased reliance on budget and forecast models
  • Direct impact on company bottom line

Product Owner

Primary Goal Quickly bring new products and features to market with an accurate price point.

Objectives

  • Accelerate Product Growth YoY
  • Decrease time to market
  • Deliver innovative, market leading solutions cost effectively

Frustrations

  • Unpredictable, sometimes chaotic, cloud spend
  • Cannot predict the costs closely enough for new features and products resulting in pricing misses
  • Cannot predict how costs will change when launching existing products in new regions/markets

Key Metrics

  • Revenue Growth
  • Gross Margins
  • COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)
  • Unit Cost Economics - Cost per customer, Cost per product/feature

FinOps Benefits

  • Manage risk
  • Connect product decisions with business outcomes
  • Predict how much cloud infrastructure will factor into feature/ product price
  • Guide team to make good cloud investments

Engineering Lead

Primary Goal Deliver faster and high quality services to the organisation, whilst maintaining business as usual

Objectives

  • Drive accountability to engineering teams that are responsible for the application/services.
  • Provide guidance to engineering teams to have a cost-effective application/service by identifying anomalies and best practices.
  • Work together with engineering teams to identify rate reductions and possible cost avoidance
  • Cost allocation

Frustrations

  • Unsatisfied engineers as their workload keeps rising.
  • Long delivery cycles
  • Cannot predict the impact on the budget
  • Difficult to identify service or application ownership
  • Cannot predict the costs closely enough for developing new features and products.

Key Metrics

  • Revenue by infrastructure costs
  • Cost per deployed service & service utilisation rates
  • Showback & Chargeback of IT costs to the business

FinOps Benefits

  • Increased visibility to cloud cost
  • Connection to cloud cost and unit economics
  • More accountability for utilization
  • Incentive towards solid architecture principles to factor efficiency

IT Finance Manager

Primary Goal Accurately budget, forecast and report cloud costs

Objectives

  • Cost out and budget maintenance
  • Prepare accurate forecasts
  • Report actual costs and trends
  • Normalize spend predictability

Frustrations

  • Unpredictable, sometimes chaotic, cloud spend
  • Frustrated team as cloud cost accountability is distributed
  • Challenges with legacy finance models (cap-ex vs op-ex)

Key Metrics

  • Revenue Growth
  • Gross Margins
  • COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)
  • Unit Cost Economics
  • Budget and forecast transparency and accuracy
  • Policy compliance

FinOps Benefits

  • Identify unallocated spend
  • Facilitate showback/chargebacks to increase financial accountability
  • Drive budget and forecast accuracy
  • Guide team to make good cloud investments

Procurement

Primary Goal Cloud platform relationship management

Objectives

  • Negotiate the best win-win cloud contract
  • Exercise enterprise discount / volume commitment programs
  • Manage relationship with Cloud platform provider

Frustrations

  • Lack of visibility to cloud cost data
  • Lack of centralized process for cloud commitments

Key Metrics

  • Software license optimization
  • Cost per license
  • Utilization of licenses per team
  • Cost or IT Spend per Vendor to provide possible consolidation opportunities

FinOps Benefits

  • Obtain the best cloud cost rates available
  • Translate billing data to activity based costing
  • Provide visibility and enable understanding of cost per technology license and contracts

FinOps Team Structures

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The above diagram demonstrates how, for organizations operating on the FinOps model, a cross-functional team known as a Cloud Cost Center of Excellence (CCoE) interacts with the rest of the business to manage the cloud strategy, governance, and best practices that the rest of the organization can leverage to transform the business using the cloud.