Expert Blog: Adopting a FinOps Model will Support Cloud Migration Strategy

Photo Ryan Hooley, Director of Cloud and Automation at Technologent
Ryan Hooley, Director of Cloud and Automation at Technologent

Cloud-based data management may save a business money, but only if done correctly. Let’s discuss the importance of focusing on governance to achieve a smooth transition.

Despite many organizations’ concerns about how it would effect their financial sheet, the transition to cloud-based solutions is taking place.
The global market for cloud-based services is expected to rise to $50.1 billion by 2020, with a compounded annual growth rate of 29.4 percent. Data silos – data repositories maintained by a single group and not easily available to the rest of the organization – are one issue hindering a successful cloud migration.

Author: Ryan Hooley, Director of Cloud and Automation at Technologent

Data silos have an impact on a company’s growth as well as its costs, which will rise as information is kept in these silos. There is a lot of mixed information floating around, which causes security issues and makes it difficult to get information quickly. The largest stumbling block, however, is a lack of data governance and data-supporting technologies.

Combining Finance, Technology and Business

Cloud migration is not a single technology, but rather a business strategy, particularly when seen from a FinOps perspective. FinOps is the discipline of combining finance, technology, and business to manage cloud economics and achieve a competitive edge. When companies focus on the technical aspect of cloud migration and overlook the fact that migrating to the cloud alters the dynamics of their budget, their spending misses the goal since it has shifted from a predictable to a more unpredictable and dynamic spend. When this happens, organizations’ budgets become overburdened, and the cloud is perceived as being excessively expensive.

In reality, the spending is the result of the organization’s failure to account for it. Engineers and architects should be able to achieve business objectives faster utilizing the cloud, while FinOps provides an operating model for introducing accountability for spending, allowing the firm to focus on establishing essential cultural transformations in financial, technical, and operational management.

The key to success for a firm interested in going to the cloud is governance. You need to know why you’re moving to the cloud, how you’re going to accomplish it, and who it will benefit. Governance is important in your cloud journey to ensure that you have a plan that aligns with your company plan and intended outcomes.

Design ‘Everything as Code’

It begins with the development of a cloud framework, which covers the why, how, and who, as well as the financial consequences for your business. Following the definition of governance, the discovery phase begins to determine which apps and systems will be deployed to the cloud as a single workload.

Before going on to the architecture of the cloud workload, security must be wrapped around the workload to ensure compliance and enable the data chain of custody. FinOps comes into greater perspective at this phase, as a company begins to acquire a sense of the actual cost. The automation phase follows, which includes time spent developing IT skills around procedures and determining how to design ‘everything as code,’ which can help you save money as business grow while also allowing you to take advantage of cloud speed.

Finally, there are the deployment and analysis stages, during which everything may be evaluated and monitored in order to identify ongoing possibilities for improvement. The cloud framework’s circular nature is a never-ending improvement cycle that will expand as you do.

Adopting a FinOps Model

Businesses must adopt a FinOps model for cloud computing or risk financial loss and missed business possibilities. Work slows down when information is stored in silos, and it may take the firm longer to realize the value of that data. Finally, workers who are unaware of the organization’s strategic goals provide not just a security risk, but also a financial risk because the cloud allows engineers, architects, and developers to spend money in the cloud.

FinOps provides a solution for governance and accountability, while a great cloud framework gives a solution for data, speed, accuracy, and enhanced service. Everything comes together – cloud migration, data valuation, better security, architecture, and, most crucially, a method for your organization to take advantage of the cloud’s power and speed.

The goal of FinOps is to make money, not to save money. Companies must understand, however, that this is not a ‘set it and forget it’ scenario. An organization must always be on top of things. The cloud will be expensive if there is no governance, accountability, or architecture.

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