FinOps – Learnings from the field

Remember when everyone proclaimed ‘Move to the public cloud, its cheaper’? Well the truth is it can be, however, the absence of capacity constraints in conjunction with increasingly high levels of user autonomy mean that without evolved governance models your organisation could be faced with public cloud costs that quickly get out of control.

Here at Appcentric we maintain the view that public cloud, when consumed correctly can be more cost effective and even offer competitive advantage. We recommend organisations implement cloud financial management FinOps capabilities that ensure cost visibility, and anomaly detection that allow you to identify inefficiencies to optimise your public cloud spend. While most organisations that have adopted public cloud have implemented the aforementioned processes, there are some common oversights that limit their success.

Here are the most common mistakes we see over and over:

Managing your costs only at the end of the month

Analysing spreadsheets at the end of the month and performing manual cost attribution is very hard and time consuming. It also does nothing to address spending issues that have already occurred throughout the month and unaddressed issues continue to accrue costs.

Expecting cloud consumers to constantly monitor their costs

So you go to the effort of creating dashboards, you might even have pages and pages of daily reporting, but nobody looks at the reports – why? Because they are busy doing their jobs.

IT must look for cost insights and DRAW ATTENTION to the dashboards when cost’s aren’t meeting expectations.

Asking Operational / BAU teams to optimise everything

Provisioning is often decentralised, projects come and go and there is a disconnect between the operational team and the application owners that made the provisioning decisions. This results in a lack of context. 

Have the operational team engaged with the application owners and generate actionable recommendations based on their metric observations for the application owners to then implement and validate the optimisations.

Letting commitment discounts drive your cloud adoption

While it is true, there are no discounts without commitment, overcommitment does happen. If you find yourself in the scenario where the cloud provider tells you that you’re not consuming enough to utilise your cloud commitments, you may find your commitments increase your consumption. Once you’re here your cloud principles go out the window and you will no longer care about: scheduling, removing idle resources, rightsizing or autoscaling.

To understand your real cloud needs, you must optimise resource usage even at the risk of not fully utilising your commitments. Mitigate the risks of overcommitment, above all don’t let business units or applications teams make commitment decisions, they will always choose committed pricing to build more attractive business cases.

If any of this sounds familiar, Appcentric have real world hands on experience, working with organisations to tackle these problems. If you would like to discuss FinOps in the context of your organisation, reach out to the friendly team at for assistance.


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