FinOps – Building a Capability

Benefits of resourcing internally Vs. externally?

I was recently at a conference during which I was asked, should a CXO hire a FinOps expert/team.  It was one of those questions that stayed with me, and like all good questions, over the past week it’s crept into my conscience a fair bit.

I guess the best place to start with any decision like this is simple, and it was along the lines of my answer when put on the spot:

“it depends on your businesses situation, but outsourcing initially could allow you to understand where you’re at today”.

I appreciate some might see this as a cop-out, and I get it, we all want a quick and definitive answer, mainly to let us move onto our next problem on the ever growing list.  But, I’m a huge believer that every decision made in a business, should consider what requirement is being addressed and using how much resources.  If you’re an enterprise customer, and you have a good budget with a sprawling multi-hybrid-cloud environment, that is no doubt a different need to a small startup…but what’s key is FinOps is a something that can’t be ignored and finding out quickly what the lay of the land is, can only help with such a complex decision.

I’m a huge fan of butchering a good metaphor too, something I do verbally all the time, and hey, it’s fun to take your hobbies online.  Companies will hire electricians to help out around the office, fixing issues or potentially assisting with a recent reno or need to do a cable run, let’s say it’s an IT Consultancy Company.  It’s not something the company is going to do itself, unless they’re either brave or stupid, and the amperes will decide what end of the ledger they sit on with that one.  So I’d see that as a startup, they outsource to an expert, who delivers expertise efficiently for a manageable fee, providing an implementation that lets them get on with, well, using their office.  Hiring one full time might be considered crazy, because while they definitely need electricity, they don’t need someone to constantly fine tune it once it’s setup correctly.

On the other end of the scale, if there is a need for that electrical expertise, daily, in multiple locations, a true business need, then there would be a desire to have that as an internal resource.  Let’s say it’s a building company (I appreciate there is a subcontracting aspect, but I also did admit I’d butcher this), outsourcing could be more expensive over the long term.  Furthermore, you’ve got to consider having that advice on hand to assist with maintenance, advice and fine tuning initial config, as well as provide real business value.  However, it’s never that simple, you’ve got the time to hire, training costs etc to factor into your decision.

I’m sure we’re now all in agreement, it’s time to step away from that analogy and get to the point.  FinOps can quite often have burning issues, time-sensitive issues that outsourcing can help quickly identify to put the fire(s) out.  Furthermore, the time to hire internally might result in the problems being unaddressed until they are hired, settled and get round to doing that initial analysis.  But, what might suit the organisation is to do both, start the hiring process but then have a specialist firm perform a health check to ensure there is adequate time, so not to rush a hire.  At Appcentric we are firm believers to instil knowledge for self-reliance.  If you’re unsure of where to start, unsure of what step to make first, outsource or hire internally, we can help with both strategy and execution.


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