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Mastering the art of cloud cost management with FinOps as a service

By Alex Russell, Regional Sales Manager, SADC at Nutanix

Johannesburg, 15 May 2024
Alex Russell, Regional Sales Manager, SADC for Nutanix.
Alex Russell, Regional Sales Manager, SADC for Nutanix.

As organisations move towards hybrid multicloud deployments, many are grappling with the complexities of managing costs across diverse platforms. The intricacies of this challenge extend beyond mere financial considerations, delving into the heart of operational efficiency and strategic resource allocation.

As businesses expand their digital footprint, there is a growing need for a comprehensive strategy to better manage the costs involved in cloud-everything. This is where financial operations (FinOps) steps in, representing a shift in the approach towards cloud financial management.

The demand for a robust FinOps strategy arises from the realisation that traditional approaches fall short in meeting the dynamic demands of contemporary cloud environments. It's not just about cost containment; it's about optimising spending while ensuring seamless operations across private and public clouds. Professionals navigating this landscape seek solutions that not only address immediate financial concerns, but also provide a strategic framework for sustainable growth and innovation.

Navigating the FinOps landscape

The intricacies of managing costs across private and public clouds require a better understanding of diverse interfaces, user access and naming conventions. Aligning budgets with the correct cost centres proves to be laborious and error prone. Tasks such as identifying idle services, rightsizing under-utilised resources and handling reserved instances (RIs) demand manual effort and intricate knowledge of purchasing options. Establishing an efficient chargeback strategy for organisational accountability adds another layer of complexity.

Amid these challenges, FinOps practitioners operate at the intersection of finance, technology and organisational strategy. It's a role that demands not just technical acumen but also a keen understanding of business goals. As the cloud ecosystem evolves, FinOps professionals play a crucial role in deciphering complex cloud cost data, ensuring efficient resource allocation and providing valuable insights that impact the bottom line.

The evolutionary solution: FinOps as a service

This has resulted in the emergence of FinOps as a service, an innovative solution meticulously crafted to streamline the challenges faced by FinOps practitioners. This service offers low-stress set-up and configuration, kickstarting the FinOps journey with a comprehensive onboarding workshop. Reporting service advisors collaborate with users to define reporting requirements, ensuring a tailored approach to the cost centre strategy.

The hands-on approach extends beyond onboarding; FinOps as a service delivers optimisation recommendations in as little as 24 hours. This rapid turnaround empowers organisations to elevate cost management and operational efficiency in their cloud operations. The one-click optimisation feature across clouds eliminates the need for manual reconciliation in spreadsheets, making cost management a seamless and automated process.

Customised reports and efficient resource mapping

Customisation lies at the core of FinOps as a service. Users can configure reports based on specific business requirements, whether it's cloud accounts, EC2 RI utilisation or unused resources across clouds. Reporting advisors collaborate with finance platform owners to capture costs, review potential anomalies and establish best practices.

The tag-based resource mapping and chargeback functionality ensure alignment of tagged resources with the correct cost centres. This not only holds departments accountable for their spending, but also facilitates the assignment of budgets and setting thresholds to prevent runaway spending.

Enhancing operational efficiency

Beyond the initial set-up and configuration, FinOps as a service continues to add value through ongoing support and enablement of the environment. The service adopts a proactive stance, offering one-click visibility into multicloud spend with unified dashboards and reporting. Skilled FinOps engineers, dedicated to organisations, assist with onboarding, building reports and providing insightful cost analysis.

Powerful insights into cloud spend help prevent cost overruns and improve workload optimisation. With FinOps as a service, organisations can eliminate unused resources, automate manual tasks and significantly reduce cloud spend. The service ensures ongoing governance, establishing and maintaining best practices for effective cloud resource management.

Looking ahead with cost in mind

As organisations navigate the multicloud landscape, the FinOps methodology is set to become even more integral. Challenges around visibility into costs, accountability for high-spend departments and identifying savings opportunities loom on the horizon. Organisations are encouraged to explore FinOps methodologies and solutions tailored to their needs, ensuring they are well-prepared to tackle the evolving challenges of cloud cost management.

As FinOps as a service emerges as a best practice of innovation in the realm of cloud cost management, its seamless onboarding, swift optimisation recommendations and customisable reporting features set it apart in a crowded landscape. As organisations face the growing complexities of multicloud deployments, FinOps as a service provides the clarity and control needed to unlock the true potential of cloud cost management.

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