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#YouthMonth: Navigating the intersection of finance and tech in FinOps

Thirty-year-old Sherilyn Kamga excels in the emerging FinOps sector, bridging finance and technology.
Source: Supplied. Sherilyn Kamga, senior strategic finance analyst at Talend.
Source: Supplied. Sherilyn Kamga, senior strategic finance analyst at Talend.

She is senior strategic finance analyst at Talend, specialising in FinOps - an operational framework and cultural shift that brings finance, technology, and business together to drive financial accountability and accelerate business. The emergence of this activity can be attributed to the cloud revolution and its profound influence on businesses, a phenomenon that was non-existent a decade ago.

“FinOps is becoming a must-have practice for businesses looking to optimise their cloud spending. As the field continues to evolve, collaboration between teams, integration with agile methodologies, and prioritising sustainability will be key best practices for success in 2023,” Kamga says.

Talend serves customers across multiple industries, including finance, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Among Talend’s clients are AstraZeneca and global financial-services corporation, Citigroup, which operates in South Africa through its subsidiary, Citibank South Africa.

In a new chapter for the firm, Talend was acquired by Qlik last month. Based in the US, Qlik specialises in data analytics and business intelligence.

Here Kamga unpacks FinOps trends:

What are some notable trends in the management of cloud spending and how has it impacted organisations?

The practice of Finops has gained momentum in recent years, as more and more companies are seeking to optimise their cloud spending. Over the past few years, FinOps has emerged as a distinct discipline within organisations, with a dedicated role and the implementation of specialised frameworks to effectively manage cloud expenditures.

Can you speak to the early beginnings of FinOps and its evolution?

Since the introduction of FinOps as a concept in 2019, the practice has evolved significantly. Initially focused on managing costs related to cloud services, FinOps has become a broader set of practices to help businesses align their cloud infrastructure spending with their business goals.

In the past few years since 2019, we saw significant growth in FinOps as a dedicated role within organisations. More companies started hiring FinOps professionals to help manage their cloud spending and optimise their cloud infrastructure. Additionally, the adoption of FinOps frameworks and best practices continued to increase, with more companies realising the benefits of having a structured approach to managing cloud costs.

What are some key emerging directions of FinOps?

A key trend in the evolution of FinOps has been the increasing focus on collaboration between different teams within organisations. The traditional silos between finance, IT, and operations have started to break down, with more cross-functional teams working together to optimise cloud spending.

This trend is highlighted in the 2023 State of FinOps report, which states that ‘other frameworks are starting to intersect and integrate with FinOps’, indicating a growing recognition of the importance of a holistic approach to cloud financial management and the need for cross-functional collaboration to optimise cloud spending and drive business value.

Emergence of new tools and technologies

In addition, the emergence of new tools and technologies to support FinOps has been a key trend in recent years. Several vendors have released new FinOps-specific tools, such as Finout, CloudFix,Granulate, and Zesty, among others.

These tools help companies automate many of the manual tasks associated with FinOps, such as tracking and analysing cloud spending, and making it easier to implement FinOps best practices.

Moreover, the inclusion of FinOps in Pitchbook’s list of emerging spaces confirms the dynamic nature of this field and its potential for investment.

As more businesses look to optimise their cloud spending and improve their financial-management practices, FinOps is emerging as a critical discipline that can help organisations achieve these goals. Its recognition as a promising investment from an investor standpoint further solidifies its importance in the business world.

What are some of the best practices for successful FinOps in 2023?

As the FinOps space continues to evolve, it’s important for businesses to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices to ensure they are getting the most out of their cloud spending.

Here are some of the key best practices for FinOps in 2023:

  • Integrate FinOps with agile methodologies: Integrating FinOps with agile methodologies can help businesses become more efficient and effective in managing their cloud infrastructure. This integration can help identify cost-saving opportunities earlier in the development process and make it easier to implement FinOps best practices.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration: Successful FinOps practices rely on collaboration between different teams within an organisation, such as finance, IT, and operations. To foster this culture of collaboration, businesses should invest in training and education programmes to help
    employees understand the importance of cost optimisation and how they can contribute to these efforts.
  • Prioritise sustainability: As the focus on sustainability continues to grow, businesses should consider the carbon footprint of their cloud infrastructure when making spending decisions.This can help reduce the environmental impact of cloud infrastructure while also driving cost savings.

So what’s next for FinOps?

As cloud adoption continues to grow, FinOps will become even more critical for organisations looking to manage their cloud costs effectively. Here are some of the emerging trends that are likely to shape the future of FinOps:

  • Increased use of AI and machine learning: As cloud infrastructures continue to scale, the amount of data generated can be overwhelming for FinOps teams to analyse and manage manually. We can expect to see greater adoption of AI and machine learning tools to automate cost optimisation and gain insights that would be challenging to discover otherwise.
  • Larger focus on governance: As the cloud infrastructure continues to evolve and become more complex, the role of governance in FinOps will only become more critical. Organisations must ensure that their FinOps practices are scalable and adaptable to meet changing requirements and challenges.

    For instance, good governance practices in FinOps include clear policies and procedures for cloud resource management, defining cost-optimisation targets, and regularly monitoring performance against those targets.

  • Facing the rise of hybrid cloud management: Many organisations are turning to hybrid cloud solutions, which combine the benefits of both public and private clouds. From a FinOps perspective, managing hybrid cloud environments presents a unique set of challenges as FinOps practitioners need to optimise workloads and resources across different infrastructure types.

    To address this, organisations may need to adopt new approaches to workload management and optimisation that can span both on-premises and cloud infrastructure.

About Katja Hamilton

Katja is the Finance, Property and Healthcare Editor at Bizcommunity.
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