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  • Tengku M Z

FinOps: How Finance and IT Departments Can Finally Speak the Same Language

I strongly believe that the siloed operations between finance and IT departments are a relic of the past. In today's dynamic cloud computing landscape, achieving optimal cloud spend requires a collaborative approach - enter FinOps. This emerging discipline fosters a culture of shared responsibility, allowing both finance and IT to understand each other's needs and work towards a common goal: maximising the value derived from cloud resources.

Let's paint a real-world picture. Imagine a thriving e-commerce company, "Sell Everything", experiencing exponential growth. Their on-premise infrastructure is buckling under the pressure of increased traffic and data storage demands. Migrating to the cloud becomes the natural progression, offering scalability, elasticity, and a plethora services to streamline operations.

The Finance Department's Perspective: Cost optimisation is King

For the finance department at Sell Everything, cost optimisation is paramount. They worry about surprise bills, underutilized resources, and a lack of transparency into cloud spending. Here's where FindOps shines:

  • Rightsizing with Amazon EC2 and Google Compute Engine (GCE): Sell Everything utilises Amazon EC2 for its virtual machines (VMs) hosting the e-commerce platform. FinOps principles encourage them to leverage tools like Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances (RIs) or Savings Plans for predictable workloads. On the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), similar cost-saving opportunities exist with Committed Use Discounts (CUDs) for GCE VMs. Both services offer significant discounts compared to on-demand pricing for consistent resource usage.

  • Optimising Storage with Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage: Sell Everything stores a massive amount of product images and customer data. FinOps emphasises storage tiering - utilising Amazon S3's Intelligent-Tiering or Google Cloud Storage's Lifecycle Management features. These tools automatically migrate data between storage classes based on access frequency, ensuring cost-effectiveness. Less frequently accessed data gets placed in cheaper storage tiers, like Amazon S3 Glacier or Google Cloud Storage Coldline, leading to significant cost reductions.

  • Cloud Cost Management with AWS Cost Management and GCP Billing: Both AWS and GCP offer robust cost management tools. AWS Cost Management provides granular insights into spending across various services and resources. Similarly, GCP Billing allows for detailed cost analysis and budget setting. FindOps empowers the finance department to leverage these tools for proactive cost monitoring and informed decision-making.

The IT Department's Perspective: Performance and Agility Matter

For Sell Everything's IT department, performance and agility are crucial. They need to ensure the cloud environment delivers a seamless customer experience while maintaining flexibility for future growth. Here's how FinOps empowers them:

  • Auto-scalling with Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling and Google Compute Engine Automatic Scaling: To handle traffic spikes during peak seasons, Sell Everything can leverage EC2 Auto Scaling. This service automatically scales VMs up or down based on predefined rules, ensuring optimal resource utilisation and server responsiveness. Likewise, GCP's Automatic Scaling for GCE VMs offers an equivalent solution on the GCP.

  • Leveraging Serverless Functions with AWS Lambda and Google Cloud Functions: Sell Everything can leverage serverless functions to process short-lived tasks like order confirmations or image resizing. This frees IT from server provisioning and management, allowing them to focus on application development while optimising costs. Since serverless functions are only billed for execution time, you'll see significant cost savings for sporadic workloads.

  • Containerization with Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE): Containerization offers several benefits for deploying and managing applications. Platforms like Amazon ECS and GKE help run containerized applications, leading to faster deployments, simpler scaling, and better resource utilisation. This translates to a more agile IT environment and potentially lower costs due to denser deployments.

Conclusion: A Shared Vision for the Cloud

FinOps is more than just a technical framework; it represents a fundamental change in how organisations approach cloud economics. By fostering collaboration between finance and IT, Sell Everything or/and any companies can unlock the cloud's full potential. This collaboration empowers the finance department to gain transparency into cloud spending and identify optimisation opportunities, while IT maintains a high-performing and agile environment. Ultimately, FinOps positions both departments to work towards the shared goal of maximising the value derived from cloud investments.

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