How to pal up DevOps and FinOps to curb cloud costs successfully

FinOps, a cloud operating model that combines best practices and cultures to understand cloud spending, is currently a buzzword parallel with DevOps 10 years ago.

Why is FinOps in fashion? Cloud computing continues growing. Unfortunately, so does the evergreen challenge of increasing cloud costs. According to Gartner, in 2023, end-user spending on cloud services is expected to reach about $600 billion, uncovering the unfortunate tendency of nigh-on 20% cloud spending growth for the sixth year.

How come? Full responsibility for managing cloud assets is the solution. Cloud cost management should be a part of the project lifecycle, bringing FinOps to the cloud operations table.

DevOps vs. FinOps

FinOps is an operational and cultural shift that brings technology, finance, and business together to deliver financial accountability and drive business value via increasing organizations’ abilities to understand cloud costs and enable cloud transformation. FinOps is also explained as bringing financial responsibility to a variable cost model in the cloud, enabling teams to find a balance between speed, cost, and quality.

Companies with a DevOps approach implemented, even well-developed, cannot a-priori ensure financial responsibility development as DevOps has a different purpose of streamlining, optimizing, and automating the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to release top-notch products at high velocity. While FinOps focuses on the cost and performance efficiency of cloud usage across the business. So, different goals create different roles and performances for DevOps engineers.

Unfortunately, engaging financial specialists in cloud management possess might not work here. Unlike traditional on-premises systems, where software development costs can be easily tracked, cloud operating costs are much more difficult for non-cloud experts to understand. In addition, it is hard to track the resource allocation of complex container infrastructures, such as Kubernetes, where many of them may be hidden from the naked eye. As a result, the finance team cannot comprehend how costs are allocated in the cloud, while tech teams don’t know how their functioning affects cloud infrastructure costs.

So, how do cloud infrastructure owners encourage teams to overcome the cost misunderstanding barrier and get the most out of every dollar spent on cloud resources?

How to team up DevOps and FinOps

Implementing FinOps alongside successful DevOps is the solution to the challenge of constantly growing cloud costs and creating a mature FinOps team is the best option of all available. FinOps specialists are highly skilled and experienced veterans who deal with cloud costs in multi-account and multicloud environments. However, building an in-house FinOps team or hiring a mature FinOps professional is challenging for organizations like startups or small businesses. Even big enterprises with well-developed DevOps might need more time for the hiring period, while cloud spending issue is preferred to be solved more rapidly.

Uniting DevOps and FinOps

Here are three core ideas on establishing FinOps in any organization and paling up DevOps and FinOps.

  • Make finances an important part of cloud management processes. It might seem overwhelming, but costs should be part of any lifecycle. Given that cost transparency is crucial, you will need a clear cloud visibility and cost optimization plan, including a strict tagging methodology for every cloud service to be tagged to each microservice consumed per environment, per team.
  • Finspire your teams. It's good to have a budget holder person, but the Developers, IT operation, and DevOps teams should monitor the expenses, encouraging the right financial behaviors. Also, we recommend breaking your annual budget into monthly parts to help teams set their budget goals and reach them.
  • Use a cloud optimization platform to streamline and automate cost management via increased visibility and efficient saving tooling packed within one environment. Keeping budgets on track is a very time and energy-consuming process. When manual or done by many spread-around tools, it involves most of the teams’ resources spent on service locating, analyzing, tagging, cleaning, rightsizing, spotting, and managing. Suppose you want your teams to be involved in the budget management process. In that case, you should utilize an all-in-one platform to be provided with spending insights for each service and given the possibility to optimize cloud costs right inside one environment, sparing your teams from utilizing dozens of separate single-issue-solving tools.

Profisea Labs’ experienced experts developed a well-architected FinOps strategy based on best FinOps practices and implemented it in our innovative multicloud cost optimization platform, Uniskai. Powered by AI, Uniskai analyzes system utilization and provides unique recommendations to reduce cloud costs by up to 75%.

Final thoughts

Bringing effective financial and operational management, aka FinOps, to cloud-based environments is a great idea. However, not all organizations possess the luxury of building immediate FinOps in their teams, thus continue achieving bloated cloud bills month after month. We suggest three practical ways how IT businesses can take cloud costs under control: including budget management into cloud management processes, inspiring (finspiring) teams to take responsibility for cloud costs, and bringing all the teams to one environment that provides cost visibility and cost-optimization automation of your infrastructure for you not to experience money losses.

If you have any DevOps/FinOps-related questions, contact us in the chat for a free consultation.