Just as cloud computing and the adoption of agile methodology created the need for DevOps practices, FinOps is a direct response to the need for accountable, agile cloud financial management.

With the flexible and variable model of cloud billing, traditional procurement budgeting would seriously limit cloud benefits.

FinOps is all about aggregated and integrated cloud financial hygiene for every business unit involved. These best practices are about tracking, analyzing and optimizing the costs incurred with cloud usage.

The FinOps Foundation defines this through the Inform, Optimize and Operate phases of the FinOps Framework. Organizations need to gain visibility and accountability for who is spending what on cloud resources. They must also plan to take advantage of the various discount pricing options available from cloud providers and execute on various savings opportunities so that every cloud dollar is spent in the most efficient way possible.

ITAM considerations for FinOps

With these standard FinOps goals in mind, a vital component that is often overlooked is the importance of integrating IT Asset Management (ITAM) considerations and practices into the fold. ITAM is the practice of gaining visibility into an organization’s IT assets and licenses across the entire enterprise, identifying opportunities for savings/retirement and executing a plan on these.

Software licensing is a component that should be considered for FinOps teams looking to drive long-term success. Whether it’s on-prem licenses that may work in the cloud, SaaS licenses for software that you may currently own or other licensing scenarios, ITAM brings the needed visibility into licensing that FinOps teams typically aren’t aware of.

Source: Adapted from FinOps Foundation

Aligning ITAM and FinOps

Regardless of provider-based costs related cloud efforts, license management is always going to be a budget driver. For example, a FinOps tool could suggest that moving a workload to another cloud instance could save a few cents an hour. While this would typically be an easy decision, it is only looking at one element of cost and doesn’t consider licensing. If the new instance is running unlicensed software or is significantly larger than the existing instance, this could result in new licensing costs of several hundreds or even thousands of dollars, defeating the purpose of moving the workload by incurring these significant new costs.

ITAM and FinOps teams share incredibly similar principles. Both operate on the following ideas:

  • Teams need to collaborate.
  • Everyone needs to take ownership of their usage.
  • Managing centrally is efficient and enables total IT visibility.
  • Transparency is a requirement with accessible and timely reports.
  • Critical decisions are driven by the business value of cloud and IT assets, respectively.
  • Taking advantage of variable cost models, where they exist, will improve ROI.

Aligning your FinOps and ITAM practices can help both teams reach their planning and savings execution goals with improved visibility and collaboration. With a common focus on C-level business objectives, both teams can confidently address compliance, spend and visibility concerns in a much more concise and stakeholder-relevant manner.

Learn more and register for the webinar

To learn more about how these teams can work together to achieve their common, business-critical goals, register for our webinar: FinOps + IT Asset Management: Cloud ROI with Software Compliance


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