Building your FinOps Dream Team
By Lauren Sirt | Senior Content Manager
July 22, 2021
Are you looking to take your cloud financial operations from an art to a science? Then you need the right people to do the job. Building an excellent FinOps team is no easy task. They will be responsible for designing the right frameworks, approaches, and processes for optimizing cloud operations, minimizing costs, and enhancing the cloud’s efficiency. These leaders will take all these initiatives from theory to practice — a pretty critical role to say the least.
According to the FinOps Foundation, teams working with FinOps are expected to grow by 40% in 2021–and for good reason. The costs associated with the cloud are now out of control and engineers are expected to bear the brunt of the cloud management burden, a bad use of both their time and talent.
FinOps has been celebrated as the solution to this problem. But the success of your l FinOps operation is dependent on the talent you bring in.
So how can you make sure you hire the right people as you start your FinOps Journey? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Don’t be tempted to hire a “jack of all trades”
You know those rare talents that excel at everything they touch? In school they might be less appreciated, but in life they are a true commodity. You may be inclined to hire one of these individuals on your FinOps team, but the truth is while there may be people that are good at many things, it is almost impossible to find someone who is truly great in multiple disciplines.
FinOps is a mix of technical acumen, financial prowess, and business ingenuity. All of these vastly different skills are rarely found in one person. If you search long and hard, you may find someone who possesses all of these skills at a pretty good level, but who wants pretty good when you can have great?
Hire top experts in each FinOps specialization
For this reason, you should make sure your team is composed of experienced specialists from each field of concentration within FinOps. At a minimum, there should be one person with financial orientation, one technical person, one business analyst, and one governance expert to cover all aspects of FinOps at the highest level.
For example, an individual with expertise in engineering, ops, or infrastructure will add value from his or her experience working in the cloud, building applications, architecting the cloud, and his or her deep understanding of technical storage needs. In contrast, the financial expert’s experience will help your team plan, budget, and develop a reasonable financial plan for the cloud. Adding a business analyst to your team will ensure you are process-oriented. He or she will constantly look for ways to ensure your systems and resources are optimized in the best possible way and come up with strategies to ensure your technical output is aligned with business objectives. Lastly, a governance expert or executive is the glue that holds everything together. He or she will ensure each person working in the cloud takes ownership of his or her cloud resources and will make sure the entire FinOps operation is set up for success.
By having each of these specializations within your organization, each FinOps vocation will receive the attention it deserves, so your results are no less than phenomenal.
Hire within your organization
For those new to FinOps, there’s always a learning curve. The combination of tech, cloud, finance, business, and governance is not an easy mix. And finding a balance between each of these areas to achieve a financially efficient cloud is quite a challenge for anyone.
So in order to lessen this learning curve, try to hire within your organization. This reduces the complexity brought on by lack of familiarity with the culture, products, and people that drive your business forward.
Relationships are also critical to FinOps success so if your new hire is from within the organization, they are far more likely to have solid relationships with key cloud stakeholders. As a result, your new team can get up and running faster.
In contrast, an external hire will need to build all the relationships and knowledge completely from scratch, making the role even more difficult to navigate.
Build a diverse team
As we mentioned previously, a FinOps team that is made up of individuals with various different skill sets brings a whole new level of expertise to your FinOps organization.
The same line of reasoning goes for diversity. People with various backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge can only improve your culture, problem solving capabilities, creative thinking, and ultimately, your success.
According to a McKinsey study, businesses that are more diverse both ethically and with regards to gender are between 25%-36% more likely to perform better than their less diverse counterparts.
So when hiring talent, look for people who vary in ethnicity, culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, ect. so you gain diverse perspectives and improve your overall performance.
Look for talent with excellent people and communication skills
While FinOps are responsible for financial cloud efficiency, they can’t reach this goal without the cooperation of the engineers working in the cloud.
Your engineering team is constantly building new applications, developing more features, and churning out new products. All of this requires ample compute and storage in the cloud. And if your engineers are using the cloud without keeping finances and optimization strategies in mind, your cloud will become as lawless as the wild west.
FinOps needs to hold engineers responsible for what they are building, how they are building it, and help them come to the most strategic and responsible way to architect the cloud without stifling engineering priorities. And while FinOps is in charge, engineering will need to do a decent amount of work to support FinOps goals.
In our recent webinar, Starting the FinOps Journey, Shunit Kainy, Senior Global Procurement Manager at Amdocs explained, “Every cloud environment can be built in at least three different ways. And the same function built in different ways can have a significant cost difference.”
Convincing others to do the cloud optimization work isn’t easy. It requires transparency, excellent communication skills, emotional intelligence, and some good old fashioned likeability.
So make sure you hire people who are team players and possess these critical people skills to take your FinOps strategy from vision to reality.
The talent you bring into your FinOps team can make or break your success. So make sure you have the right blend of talent, experience, diversity, and people skills to create your FinOps dream team and ace your cloud optimization goals.
Looking for more tips to help you start your FinOps journey on the right foot? Check out our FinOps toolset here or contact one of our cloud experts to learn how you can take FinOps to the next level with Zesty.