FinOps Strategy Integral to Successful Cloud Migration 

by Ryan Hooley

A great cloud framework presents organizations with a solution regarding data, speed, accuracy and improved service, while FinOps provides a solution for governance and accountability. Everything comes together—cloud migration, valuation of data, enhanced security, architecture and, most importantly, a way for businesses to harness the power and speed of cloud. It’s important that businesses recognize cloud migration is not a single technology, and governance and FinOps must be accounted for to achieve the biggest ROI from their cloud migration strategies.

When organizations focus on the technology component of cloud migration and forget that moving to the cloud changes the dynamics of their budget, their expenditure misses the mark because it has moved from a predictable spend to a more variable and dynamic spend. When this happens, companies find budgets overwhelming and end up with the perception that the cloud is too expensive. In reality, the expense is due to the organization not holding accountability to that expenditure. 

FinOps is not there to save money, it’s about making money. However, companies must be aware that this is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” scenario. The company has to be on top of it…constantly. If there is no governance, accountability or architecture, then the Cloud will be costly. 

Cloud should allow engineers and architects to speed the delivery of the business objectives, while using FinOps to provide an operating model to introduce accountability for the expenditure. This allows the company to focus on developing critical cultural shifts within financial, technical and operational control. If a company is interested in moving to the cloud, the key to success is governance. 

How to Successfully Implement Governance and FinOps:

It starts with creating a cloud framework, which includes the why, how, and who, along with the financial implications for the company. 

As governance is defined, the business begins the discovery phase to learn what applications and what systems will be put into the cloud as a cohesive workload.

From there, security must be wrapped around the workload to ensure compliance as well as enabling the data chain of custody, before moving onto the architecture of the cloud workload. 

At this point, FinOps comes into sharper focus, as the business will start to get an idea of the true cost. 

Next is the automation phase, which incorporates the time to develop IT proficiencies around processes and to determine how to build “everything as code,” which will reduce costs as the business grows and provide the ability to harness the speed of cloud. 

Finally, there are deployment and analyzation phases, where everything can be measured and monitored to look for continual opportunities for improvement. This cyclical nature of the cloud framework is a continual improvement loop and will grow as the business grows.

It’s essential that businesses adopt a FinOps approach for the cloud, or they risk financial loss and lost business opportunities. Ultimately, employees who aren’t aware of the strategic goals within the organization create not only security risks but financial risks due to the cloud enabling engineers, architects and developers to spend money in the cloud.

Businesses must have an understanding of why they’re going to the cloud, how they will do it and who it will benefit. Governance is extremely critical in the journey to the cloud to ensure there is a plan and that it matches up to the business plan and desired outcomes.

Ryan Hooley is director of cloud and automation services for Technologent, a Global Provider of Edge-to-Edge(TM) information technology solutions and services for Fortune 1000 companies.

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