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The Future of FinOps is CloudOps

Tatum Tummins

3 min read

Last updated on May 9th, 2024 at 2:41pm

At Kion, we believe the future of Cloud Operations includes an increase in responsibilities related to FinOps. This is because CloudOps teams, both historically and going forward, are asked to focus on governing the cloud. Traditionally, that tends to look like provisioning accounts or monitoring for compliance concerns. However, with the rise of AI, multi-cloud expansion, and the general increase in cloud footprints, the future of FinOps is going to require more governance related efforts to help organizations maintain control of their spend. This is why Kion’s vision is focused on solving governance holistically within a single platform.

In support of our vision, we were pleased to see the recent blog from Forrester on modernizing cloud governance. Within the blog, Forrester defines cloud governance as:

“A set of rules, policies, and processes (implementation, enablement, and maintenance) that guides an organization’s cloud operations without breaching the parameters of risk tolerance or compliance obligations.”

Additionally, Forrester defines the scope of cloud governance to include five areas: Security, Cost, Identity baseline, Resource configuration, and Automating DevOps governance.

This aligns exactly with how Kion views governance. Governance isn’t just maintaining a security risk tolerance or meeting compliance obligations, it’s also taking control of your spend in a programmatic way while enabling your organization to maximize the value of the cloud. The modern version of cloud governance includes proper policies and controls that span security, compliance, and cost.

The concept of governance can be lost when an organization begins to implement a FinOps practice for the first time. Organizations often go through an initial phase of trying to better understand their cloud footprint that ultimately jumpstarts a reactive approach to cost optimization. This typically looks like deleting waste running in the environment, purchasing commitment-based discounts, and figuring out “who owns what”.

It’s natural for the first phase of building out a FinOps practice to be focused on reactive measures. However, when the initial clean-up and understanding phase is over with, it’s critical to shift your mindset to governance for long-term success. Organizations must shift their thinking to governing their spend proactively by creating a strong “set of rules, policies, and processes” that prevent cost overruns before they ever happen.

That is why integrating FinOps practices into your CloudOps governance strategy is crucial.

Below are a few examples of how FinOps and CloudOps are better when paired together:

  • Prioritize cost optimization: By integrating cost optimization as part of a well-architected cloud driven by CloudOps policies, FinOps goals are naturally prioritized.
  • Enforce FinOps policy by default: CloudOps ensures that budgets and enforcements are in place by default, aligning with FinOps objectives from the start.
  • Create consequences for improper actions: When a team exceeds their budget, CloudOps allows for automatically changing cloud permissions to restrict new spend, enforcing FinOps policies.
  • Preventative policy enforcement: CloudOps enables restricting the use of expensive services, resource types, and regions, preventing unnecessary costs proactively.
  • Cost-aware culture: By giving teams visibility of their spend every time they access cloud consoles through CloudOps, FinOps accountability is reinforced.

CloudOps allows users to push policy down to drive accountability up

Organizations will still rely on dedicated FinOps teams to establish a culture of cost awareness and educate teams on best practices. However, the future of FinOps will evolve with more emphasis on a strong governance approach, and CloudOps teams are uniquely at the center to drive governance across DevOps, SecOps, and now FinOps. Simply put, a FinOps practice is going to be more successful when paired with a CloudOps team.

Here at Kion, we look forward to continuing the enablement of a governance first approach for our customers. For more details on how Kion’s features enable this unified FinOps approach, you can take a look at our product tour.

About the Author

Tatum Tummins

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