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Microsoft Azure Meets FinOps: A New Lens Driving Cloud Efficiency

October 10, 2023CloudManaged Services

The cloud presents a great deal of agility and scalability, but brimming with tempting possibilities, it can make an organization act like a kid in a candy store.

This newfound freedom can lead to unchecked expenses as organizations generously pile on additional resources, accidentally creating idle services, poor access controls, and overprovisioning.

According to Part 2 of our 2023 Cloud Impact Study, 71% of IT professionals stated cloud-related costs make up 30% or more of their total IT spend. The lack of financial guardrails can cause cloud spend to quickly spiral out of control and organizations are searching for ways to keep costs in check without sacrificing agility.

At its core, FinOps is a cultural approach to empower organizations to maximize their cloud ROI and control variable costs. It combines the financial management practice of a CFO with a CTO’s appetite for cloud innovation. By embracing the FinOps ethos and implementing best practices on Microsoft Azure, businesses can achieve FinOps success at every stage – from just starting out, to expanding scope, to operating at scale.

Azure solutions allow teams to gain invaluable insights into consumption and spending, identifying opportunities to fine-tune workloads and resources. Microsoft Azure stands out among cloud providers for its effective governance policies and oversight frameworks, enabling multidisciplinary teams to collaborate effectively.

What are important considerations in establishing a FinOps framework?

FinOps is a holistic approach to cloud spend by encouraging cross-team collaboration – uniting finance, IT, and business teams. By aligning Micrsoft Azure usage with the core principles of FinOps, you unlock the full potential of your cloud infrastructure while keeping costs in check.

The FinOps Foundation and its open-source community has laid out the best practices in its FinOps Framework. It identifies the six vital principles which act as the north star for all FinOps projects:

  1. Cross-Team Collaboration: Collaboration ensures everyone within the business works towards a shared vision. Taking advantage of tools like Microsoft Teams and Azure Monitor Workbooks ensures there is complete visibility into what each team does, and everyone is on the same page in terms of cloud cost management.
  2. Decisions Diven by Business Value of Cloud: Teams need real-time data to efficiently balance cloud costs. Azure’s Well-Architected Review makes tailored recommendations for optimization, ensuring businesses are focused on value-based decision-making.
  3. Ownership of Cloud Use: FinOps pushes accountability for usage and costs to teams, empowering them to manage budgets and prioritize cost with uptime and performance. For example, Azure Advisor provides personalized recommendations to optimize resources, reduce costs, and increase efficiency and performance for cloud investments.
  4. Accessible and Timely FinOps Reports: FinOps requires real-time financial data and benchmarking to drive clean, consistent insights for decision-making and planning across all levels. There’s no control and optimization without information and data. Organizations can download daily breakdowns of usage and charges in the Azure portal.
  5. Centralized Teams: Centralized FinOps management and automation enables consistent practices by reducing duplication and simplifying governance. This lets engineers and operations teams focus on usage while executive sponsorship streamlines rate negotiations.
  6. Take Advantage of Flexible Cloud Costs: The pay-as-you-go nature of cloud allows budgets to shift according to changing business priorities. This speeds time-to-value and drives agile planning through iterative budgeting and forecasting. Microsoft Cost Management monitors and tracks usage patterns across resources to continuously optimize costs.

As 92% of IT professionals express their likelihood of conducting a full ROI analysis of cloud spending, FinOps is a linchpin for ensuring cloud optimization while remaining adaptable to evolving business demands. But as many organizations lack a comprehensive multi-cloud strategy, leaning on an Azure partner may help to fully harness the transformative capabilities of the cloud.

What is the Microsoft Azure Difference with FinOps expertise?

62% of IT professionals agree that not having enough in-house knowledge has slowed down their adoption of cloud computing. Working with an Micrsoft Azure partner, like Aptum, with FinOps expertise is a strategic imperative for organizations seeking to harness the full potential of their cloud investments.

Since the world of Microsoft Azure cost management requires specialized skills and deep insight into FinOps principles, leaning on an experienced partner allows organizations to gain a competitive edge. Such collaboration ensures that your Azure usage aligns with business objectives and is continually fine-tuned for cost-efficiency. In the end, FinOps isn’t just about controlling costs – it’s about unlocking Azure’s full potential and thriving in the cloud.

Interested in optimizing your Azure cloud costs with a FinOps approach? Learn more about Aptum’s FinOps consultancy services and how our experts can help; book a meeting with our experts.

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