You migrated to the cloud. Now what? Because the cloud is an evolving environment, which makes it dynamic and agile for competing in the modern landscape, it means that the cost optimization of the environment must also have an established process and approach. After migrating to or building workloads in the cloud, companies are seldom optimized. As engineers tend to focus on getting workloads running and maintained, few teams spend the time to optimizing those workloads for the cloud to take advantage of cost savings techniques and programs.
To fill this gap between migration and cloud efficiency, FinOps has emerged as an ongoing process of optimizing your cloud stance for long-term cost savings, much like a DevOps team is dedicated to the creation of new operations-related products and service upgrades.
What is the Difference Between Cost Reduction and Cost Optimization in the Cloud?
While cost reduction centers around the singular goal of reducing cost, cost optimization recognizes that the goal of any business is competitiveness and profitability, which inevitably requires newer and smarter investments. Cost optimization therefore looks at current investments with an eye on company goals; a team usually identifies areas to optimize spending so that a business can divert more funding toward the most meaningful initiatives. Cutting costs by way of “cost reduction” can have impacts on productivity if needed tools are on the chomping block, whereas approaching spending from a viewpoint of “cost optimization” considers what’s needed and not needed for the long-term vision first.
What Is FinOps?
FinOps can be defined as the continual process of cost optimization for any given technology environment, much like DevOps is a continual process of operations development and optimization for a business. FinOps often refers specifically to cloud and the process of optimizing spending in a cloud environment to better achieve a business’s long-term goals. FinOps is rarely used to save money; instead, it’s used to accelerate making money to free up more money to innovate, thereby accelerating business objectives.
Because spending in the cloud can drive customer growth, product development efficiencies, relieve dependence on datacenters, and increase revenue generation, FinOps thus becomes all about making money rather than simply saving it. Removing the blockers that would normally get in the way of achieving organizational objectives in the cloud, FinOps empowers engineers to build and iterate faster, and executives get a better picture of where to invest and reel in unnecessary spending.
Tips for Integrating FinOps into Your Business
Once you’ve chosen the right provider for FinOps service, there are a few best practices to ensure success. Here are a few tips:
1. Dedicate the Resources to Ongoing Attention
Whether you dedicate resources from your own technology team or increased subscription costs with the third-party expert, it’s important to carve out a baseline for spending in this area so that true cost savings can be realized. It’s like buying a car but not budgeting for gas—your investment in a car means nothing if you can’t afford to go anywhere. FinOps isn’t a one-and-done solution; instead, it is an ongoing review and recommendation process for investment improvements.
2. Optimize, Don’t Simply Cut
As with any budgetary decision for your business, approach FinOps for your technology ecosystem with an eye on the long-term. This means not cutting anything that you could feasibly need later, but instead cut when needed from the most unnecessary to your ultimate vision. For example, if being in the cloud is a centerpiece of your long-term strategy, then any new hardware investments for on-premises infrastructure should come secondary to those investments needed for cloud.
3. Have a Management Process
Even if you have employed a third-party expert to manage the FinOps of your technology ecosystem in the cloud, you must still have a process to manage that vendor. How do you ensure ongoing compliance and security, for example? A good management process will also help your own IT team to instill optimization into every aspect of your IT department’s investments.
Strategizing and Realizing Your Vision
The journey to the cloud is one of unexpected bumps, so the more your team can plan for those bumps, wherever they might occur, the better it will be for your long-term spending and competitive stance. The benefits of cloud are numerous, yet the runaway costs can become overwhelming if there is no plan in place to monitor and optimize spending at every turn. To learn more about InterVision’s FinOps services, reach out to us here.
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