As companies embark on the FinOps journey, Kyndryl recommends the following best practices to ensure optimal results and alignment with core business objectives:Frame cost data in a business context. On its own, infrastructure data or data on the health and utilization of IT infrastructure is not enough to drive value. Organizations need to associate context with this data, so it’s clear what services are using what infrastructure components or what services are connected to a specific business unit or budget. “In order to make sense of this infrastructure data and utilization matrix from a business perspective, you need to have the right tagging strategy in place, along with ongoing analysis and compliance to ensure data stays aligned,” Maheshwaram says.
Secure executive sponsorship. Consultants or experts can make all the recommendations in the world, but without executive commitment to the requisite resources and process change, organizations will be hard-pressed to achieve value from FinOps practices. “Have the right stakeholders engaged and buy-in from the executive suite,” he adds. “Recommendations have to be transformed into actions.”
Adopt an agile mindset. Don’t expect to go full end-to-end with FinOps all in one big bang. It’s best to get started by picking and choosing an initiative that is limited in scope — for example, a specific cost center or business unit. Start small and keep iterating in an agile process. Achieve visibility for a business unit, an application, or a project, and then add more as the business experiences the benefits and is onboard with the results. Kyndryl works with the targeted business unit or application through each of the FinOps stages — Inform, Optimize, and Operationalize — and expands the maturity level within the specific business unit and across the enterprise as FinOps practices gain traction.
Create accountability and fiscal awareness. FinOps is generally centrally driven, but it’s executed at the edge by parties responsible for consuming services that generate costs. “Creating accountability across the enterprise is the FinOps secret sauce,” Catlin says. “Just letting someone know how much they’re spending can be a breakthrough in itself.”
Embrace continuous implementation. Many companies are still hardwired to think in terms of big, monolithic projects with different phases and a precise end. But FinOps is inherently agile and it’s about continuous implementation. “Getting used to the idea that implementation never ends is a hard thing, but that’s what we’re trying to do,” Catlin says.
As hybrid cloud dominates the IT landscape, organizations must balance agility and innovation with a level of complexity and decentralized governance that challenges traditional cost management. Embracing modern practices such as FinOps is central to managing IT costs. But with the right partner and set of expertise, FinOps can take on a broader role, delivering maximum business value from the modern IT estate and paving a path for successful transformation.