First FinOps Foundation Survey Shows Rise in Cloud Financial Management

Content By Devops .com

Many companies rapidly adopting FinOps but are at the early stages of optimizing cloud spend
PORTLAND, Ore. – February 3, 2021 – Big growth is ahead for FinOps, the field of cloud financial management, as more companies accelerate their cloud plans, especially amid COVID-19, and struggle to contain and optimize cloud spend, new research indicates.
The FinOps Foundation, a non-profit trade association focused on codifying and promoting cloud financial management best practices and standards, recently surveyed over 800  FinOps practitioners from around the world with a collective $45 billion in annual cloud spend. Almost half of the survey respondents were from companies with 10,000 or more employees, indicating that large companies are driving FinOps adoption.
The survey underscores that FinOps is experiencing big growth but that there is much work ahead. Key survey findings include:
  • Nearly half of survey respondents (49%) had little or no automation of managing cloud spend—one of the core disciplines of a FinOps practice.
  • Of those with some automation, almost one-third automated notifications (31%) and tagging hygiene (29%.) Only 13% automated rightsizing and 9% spot use–which indicates that companies are likely missing opportunities to optimize cloud spend.
  • Half of compute spend on public cloud was for on-demand,  the highest-price service, and 49% for reserved, savings or committed use coverage, the next costliest option. Only 13% was for spot use, the least expensive service, even though respondents identified 28% as being an “excellent” target for that option.
  • Getting engineers to act on cost optimization was cited by 40% of respondents as the biggest challenge, followed by dealing with shared costs (33%) and accurate forecasting spend (26%.)
  • Just 15% of respondents said their FinOps practice was in the “run” phase of maturity, meaning they can continually improve a built out practice. Four in 10 firms are in the “walk” phase, with core processes running but with much maturing remaining, and 44% are in the  “crawl” phase and just getting to basics.
“The dirty little secret of cloud spend is that the bill never really goes down,” says J.R. Storment, executive director of the FinOps Foundation. “Smart companies use the cloud to move quickly and outperform their competitors. While agility is paramount, they also want maximum business value for the investment.”
FinOps is clearly an area more companies will invest in. The survey respondents predicted an over 40% growth in FinOps team size in the next 12 months.
By learning more about the challenges and opportunities facing FInOps practitioners, the Foundation, which just added Google Cloud as a Premier Member, can better create educational and informative content to help the community.
“The survey underscores that the challenges faced by large companies—cost, complexity of billing data, the changing nature of the cloud—are surprisingly similar to those faced by small companies,” Storment notes. “This supports the notion that developing FinOps best practices early on will pay huge dividends as cloud use and costs grow. The FinOps Foundation is perfectly positioned to help enable these best practices with our work in such areas as frameworks, benchmarking data, and certifications.”
For more survey insights, including around such topics of top challenges, team structure, capabilities, KPIs, and primary needs, access the report here.
About the FinOps Foundation
The FinOps Foundation (F2) is a non-profit trade association made up of FinOps practitioners around the world including Atlassian, Autodesk, Gannett, HERE Technologies, Just Eat, Nationwide and Spotify. Grounded in real world stories, expertise, and inspiration for and by FinOps practitioners, the FinOps Foundation is focused on codifying and promoting cloud financial management best practices and standards to help community members and their teams become better at cloud financial management.
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