3 Cloud Tips I Learned at FinOps X 2022

Key takeaways from the first-ever FinOps X Summit.

I recently attended the FinOps Foundation’s inaugural FinOps X conference, sponsored by Apptio and others across the FinOps vendor community. Drawing in over 400 in-person attendees, it featured a slew of sessions, including one from our very own Bala Kaliamurthy and Eugene Khvostov, which discussed allocation across public cloud, containers, and cloud program spend.

I loved getting to meet so many other FinOps fanatics and learned a ton in our two days together. Here are a few of my key takeaways from those discussions:

1. TBM and FinOps work together — and strengthen each other

Financial management disciplines such as TBM (Technology Business Management) and FinOps are coming together, with teams breaking down silos, sharing critical information, collaborating actively, and informing each other’s work. Deana Solis from Smarsh noted this in her keynote presentation, noting that practices are converging and practitioners should look for opportunities to partner together.

At Apptio, we have long found TBM and FinOps to be complementary and have seen firsthand that when partnering effectively, the TBM office and FinOps practitioners actually strengthen the work each team is focused upon and the value they deliver to their organization. and have seen firsthand that when partnering effectively, the TBM office and FinOps practitioners actually strengthen the work each team is focused upon and the value they deliver to their organization.

TBM delivers IT-wide monthly reporting and provides a link between technology investments — of which cloud is a sizable portion for many organizations — and an organization’s growth objectives. FinOps manages public cloud spend in real time, increasing cloud efficiency. In other words, FinOps takes care of the finer details of the cloud and can supply optimized spend data into TBM to then view holistically with on-prem spend and measure collectively towards organizational KPIs. Alternatively, the TBM office can provide GL data around associated cloud program spend, like labor, to the FinOps team to provide an avenue to measure fully burdened cloud unit economics — deemed the “nirvana” of FinOps.

2. Cloud plays a key role in sustainability programs

In her keynote session, Alee Whitman from The Walt Disney Company noted that organizations should consider tying cloud programs to sustainability programs. But how can cloud programs support sustainability goals?

Traditional on-prem data centers consume more power than their cloud counterparts. Cloud data centers often have superior equipment and use less power for backup and cooling. Further, private data centers don’t have a utilization rate as high as cloud data centers, making them less efficient. Alternatively, public cloud providers are hyper-efficient at using resources; multitenancy enables them to handle demand from multiple instances and reduce overall carbon footprint.

Whitman noted that organizations must set KPIs to measure the effectiveness of their sustainability program, so they are aware of the actions they need to take. FinOps tooling, like Apptio Cloudability, can help FinOps practitioners measure sustainability metrics and ensure their organization is meeting the goals set by their sustainability teams.

3. The Future of FinOps: Extending beyond Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

What’s next for FinOps? Capturing and allocating cloud program costs outside of the cloud bill. Historically, FinOps has focused solely on managing traditional IaaS costs — essentially, what is within the cloud bills from AWS, Azure, and GCP. But cloud costs extend beyond those bills, and practitioners are starting to look into cloud program TCO to measure true unit economics and whether their cloud costs rising is a sign of profit growth — or waste.

On the main stage, Deloitte’s Rakinder Sembhi noted that FinOps should extend beyond public cloud costs and be applied to all elements of cloud spend, such as cloud orchestration tooling, cloud applications, cloud security, and labor costs. This enables organizations to gain a comprehensive view of their cloud ecosystem and drive fully burdened unit economics, empowering them to make informed cloud spend decisions that accelerate business growth and drive value to their organization.

Your next step

If you want to mature your FinOps practice, getting full transparency into your cloud costs is a key starting point. Apptio Cloudability is a cloud financial management solution that can help improve your organization’s visibility into its cloud spend so you can optimize your cloud resources for speed, cost, and quality. Request a demo today.

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