These days, too many organisations move to the cloud and fail to realise the cost savings available from the new model. With IT, development and product teams all accessing new cloud services as they need them, it can be easy to see cloud costs spiraling. Keeping on top of the cloud services used by your organisation and ensuring you are getting value from them is extremely difficult.
59% of IT professionals cited IT spend and cloud cost overruns as a top cloud computing issue. Enter a new practice focused on managing and improving your cloud costs, Cloud FinOps.
Download our comprehensive guide for managing costs in Azure
What is Cloud FinOps?
Cloud FinOps is shorthand for Cloud Financial Management. It is the practice of bringing financial accountability to the variable spend model of cloud, enabling distributed teams to make business trade-offs between speed, cost, and quality.
At its core, FinOps is a cultural practice. It’s the most efficient way for teams to manage their cloud costs, where everyone takes ownership of their cloud usage supported by a central best-practices group. Cross-functional teams work together to enable faster delivery, while at the same time gaining more financial and operational control.
No longer is a siloed procurement team identifying costs and signing off on them. Instead, a cross functional FinOps team adopts a definitive series of procurement best practices, enabling them to pull together technology, business, and finance in order to optimise cloud vendor management, rate, and discounting.
Making Cloud FinOps real in your organisation
As more and more workloads move into the cloud, it can become more complex to manage. Combine that with a complex licensing model and a wide-ranging product set, and you create an environment that needs more work.
The best way to start dealing with your cloud environment is to take action. There are 3 main principles that underpin how we should approach managing your cloud environment.
Visibility is key. You must have your cloud environment set up correctly with each resource, organised, labelled and sorted into resource groups. This allows you to clearly see what your cloud environment is and allows you to start the process of optimising this.
Once you have full visibility of your cloud environment the next stage is measurement. You need to set up monitoring and measurement to gain an understanding of how your cloud resources are being utilised and to start identifying opportunities for optimisation.
For example, understanding what resources each Virtual Machine (VM) has available vs what is actually being used will identify opportunities to save money. Even spotting resources that may no longer be in use can sometimes be a challenge and easily create huge bills. The key is measurement. There is a wide range of capability available from most cloud platforms as well as the ability to pull information into reporting tools to create dashboards and alerts.
You need to focus on how flexible the cloud is. In most cases it takes minutes to scale up or down resources. When compared to the limited ability of on-premise servers to scale, this is quite a change. Creating a culture and a focus on taking the insight from your measurement and adjusting your cloud environment to match is a critical change for many organisations.
From using trigger points to identify when to raise scale up resources to turning resources off during the night or at weekends, there is a wide range of options available to get save money.
We hope the above approach is useful. We believe the main goal is to start your journey with Cloud FinOps and develop a framework that supports your organisations needs. To find out more download our guide to cost management with Azure or discover our full range of cloud services.