Azure, Cloud Migration, Microsoft Security, Technology

5 Mins Read

FinOps Secrets for Cloud Cost Optimization


FinOps is a set of practices that brings together finance, operations, and engineering teams to optimize cloud costs. It is a collaborative approach that aims to align cloud spending with business goals and priorities.

FinOps is a cloud financial management discipline focused on bringing financial accountability to cloud computing or simply, cloud cost optimization. As organizations increasingly adopt the cloud, managing cloud costs and usage has become a complex challenge. FinOps provides a set of best practices, cultural norms, and tools to operationalize cloud financial management and enhancing the cloud cost optimization.

What is FinOps 

FinOps helps organizations better understand cloud spending and how to optimize cloud costs. This necessitates informed decision making to optimize usage and costs. It involves collaboration between IT, finance, and engineering teams to link cloud usage, costs, budgets, and business value. FinOps provides transparency into cloud costs, informs resource planning, gives spending guardrails, and helps stakeholders make data-driven decisions.

Key principles of FinOps include: 

  • Accountability across teams for cloud spending 
  • Transparency into current and forecasted spend 
  • Optimization of usage and costs 
  • Aligned business and technical goals

With FinOps, organizations gain visibility into cloud costs, maintain architectural efficiency, avoid waste, and align cloud usage with business value.

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Why FinOps Matters 

As cloud adoption accelerates, managing cloud costs grows more complex. Cloud resources are highly flexible but can lead to overspending if not properly monitored and optimized. FinOps provides financial rigor to cloud usage, helping curb overspending.

Without FinOps, organizations lack visibility into cloud costs. Cloud budgets can easily spiral out of control, with unused resources still incurring charges. Surprise cloud bills become more common. FinOps prevents organizations from losing control of their cloud spending. 

FinOps also ensures technical teams consider cost and budget tradeoffs when making architecture decisions. This aligns cloud usage with business value, avoiding wasted spend on unused resources. With FinOps, organizations make cloud investment decisions grounded in data.

CloudThat, with its cutting-edge FinOps expertise, is your strategic partner in navigating the complexities of cloud migration and management. By upskilling your employees in FinOps and cloud technologies, we empower your team to not just adapt but thrive in the cloud environment, ensuring minimum costs and maximum efficiency. 

How FinOps Helps Organizations 

FinOps helps organizations in three keyways: 

  1. Improves visibility into cloud costs through centralized reporting and dashboards. This makes it easy to see current and historical spend across services, teams, and environments.

  2. Provides guardrails and controls to curb overspending. Budget thresholds, alerts, quotas, and policies help codify spending boundaries.

  3. Optimizes architecture and usage to align with business priorities. Actions like resizing, scaling, and resource tagging ensure cloud usage drives value.

With FinOps powering their cloud financial management, organizations gain clarity into spending, stay within budgets, avoid waste, and maximize cloud ROI. The cultural norms and best practices of FinOps lead to long-term cloud success.

Easy tips for L&D leaders to drive cultural alignment for FinOps 

Implementing FinOps requires cultural alignment across the organization to be successful. Driving cultural change is essential to improving financial management of the cloud. 

Here are some tips for getting executive buy-in, shifting team mentalities, and promoting transparency and accountability:

Getting Executive Buy-in 

  • Present the benefits of FinOps in terms executives care about – reduced waste, optimized spend, continuous improvement. Use metrics and case studies from peers to make the case.

  • Get leadership onboard early and make them FinOps champions. Their support is crucial for allocating resources and influencing teams.

  • Start small, prove value fast. Run FinOps experiments in parts of the org and showcase successes. Use quick wins to build momentum.

Changing Mindsets Across Teams 

  • Break down silos between engineering, finance, management. Collaboration between teams is vital for FinOps.

  • Shift teams from a “spend more” to “spend smart” mentality. Provide training on cloud economics and FinOps principles.

  • Incentivize frugality and cost consciousness, not just delivery speed. Recognize teams for optimizing spend.

Promoting Transparency and Accountability 

  • Require visibility into cloud costs and resource usage. Centralize data with tagging policies and FinOps tools.

  • Establish clear policies on who can provision what resources and define approval processes. Automate governance.

  • Develop accountability for cloud budgets. Enable showback and chargeback models to create ownership for usage.

  • Frequently communicate insights enabled by transparency. Make data accessible through self-service analytics.

Cultural change doesn’t happen overnight, but getting the organization aligned on FinOps principles is essential for enhancing cloud cost optimizations as a financial accountability.

Improving Visibility into Spend 

Gaining visibility into cloud spend is crucial for adopting FinOps principles. With poor visibility, you can’t accurately track usage, allocate costs, or optimize resources.

Azure provides several tools to improve visibility: 

Leveraging Azure Cost Management 

Azure Cost Management delivers granular insights into consumption and spend. With Cost Management, you can: 

  • View organizational costs broken down by resource, resource group, subscription, and tag. This helps identify spending patterns. 
  • Set spending thresholds and configure automated budget alerts. You’ll be notified when usage approaches or exceeds set limits. 
  • Forecast future spend based on historical consumption. Accurate forecasts enable better planning. 
  • Pinpoint spending anomalies as they occur. Identify sudden spikes and patterns easily. 
  • Allocate costs to departments or projects using showback and chargeback capabilities. Show stakeholders their share of cloud consumption. 

Implementing Access Controls 

Azure role-based access control (RBAC) enables you to grant users only the level of access they need. For example: 

  • Viewers can analyze spend but not make changes. 
  • Cost Management Contributors can create budgets and alerts but not modify billing. 
  • Owners have full control over a scope of resources. 

With targeted access, you prevent unnecessary visibility into sensitive data. 

Configuring Automated Budget Alerts 

Cost Management’s budget alerts proactively notify stakeholders via email, text, or Azure portal when spending thresholds are crossed. 

Set budget alerts at these levels: 

  • Department budgets - Track business unit cloud usage monthly or quarterly. 
  • Project budgets - Monitor project cloud costs for duration of effort. 
  • Resource budgets - Get granular with thresholds for specific services like VMs or storage accounts.

Automated alerts shine a spotlight on cloud waste and overprovisioning. Stakeholders can take corrective action when notified.


Enhancing Overall Cloud Strategy 

Enhancing Overall Cloud Strategy 

Migrating to the cloud requires more than just lifting and shifting workloads. To fully realize the benefits of the cloud, you need to take a step back and develop an overarching cloud strategy that aligns to your business goals. This strategy should provide guidance on how your organization utilizes the cloud to deliver outcomes. One of the main strategy to embrace the cloud has to be to- ensuring your employees have the skillset to make most of the cloud the post-migration.

In this context, CloudThat goes beyond traditional training, providing a holistic approach to upskilling your workforce in FinOps and cloud technologies. Our expertise empowers your team to seamlessly migrate to the cloud, manage costs effectively, and achieve long-term success in the dynamic world of cloud computing. Choose CloudThat for a transformative journey into the cloud, where innovation meets financial prudence. 

Some key elements of an effective cloud strategy include:

  • Linking spend to business outcomes. Understand how your cloud investments tie back to business objectives. Track spend by workload, product line or business unit to gain visibility into what is driving costs and where the highest returns are. This allows you to prioritize resources effectively.
  • Managing multiple cloud providers. Most enterprises use more than one public cloud provider. A multi-cloud strategy helps prevent vendor lock-in, provides flexibility and takes advantage of unique services on each platform. Your strategy should outline how workloads are assessed and which cloud they are best suited for based on factors like security, compliance, performance, availability and cost.
  • Cloud governance best practices. Good cloud governance establishes rules and processes for the provisioning, access, compliance, security and spending of cloud resources. This includes access controls, automation policies, tagging standards, auditing procedures, and processes for decommissioning resources. By implementing cloud governance, you gain better oversight and reduce risk.

Focusing on these elements as part of your cloud strategy allows you to maximize the business value you receive from the cloud and but to make it sustainable business leaders to make smarter decisions to upskill their workforce on FinOps. 

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About CloudThat

Established in 2011, CloudThat is a leading Cloud Training and Cloud Consulting services provider in India, USA, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Being a pioneer in the Cloud domain, CloudThat has special expertise in catering to mid-market and enterprise clients in all the major Cloud service providers like AWS, Microsoft, GCP, VMware, Databricks, HP, and more. Uniquely positioned to be a single source for both training and consulting for cloud technologies like Cloud Migration, Data Platforms, DevOps, IoT, and the latest technologies like AI/ML, it is a top-tier partner with AWS and Microsoft, winning more than 8 awards combined in 11 years. Recently, it was awarded the prestigious AWS Training Partner of the Year 2023 and won the Microsoft Superstars FY 2023 award in Asia & India. Leveraging their position as a leader in the market, CloudThat has trained 650k+ professionals in 500+ cloud certifications and delivered 300+ consulting projects for 100+ corporates in 28+ countries.

WRITTEN BY Saloni Singla

Saloni is a seasoned content writer and a communications strategist. She uses her master's degree in communication strategy to write content that stays with the reader. The aim of her efforts is to build unique content to tell the Cloud story and help readers make informed decisions. Guided by the leadership of Susil Jena, Saloni adeptly employs various tiers of media to ensure CloudThat stands out as the undisputed 'talk of the town'. Usually on a crusade to make head-scratching content more fathomable, she can be frequently spotted near the coffee machine.



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