FinOps - developing a Cloud Centre of Excellence

The client

‬A global financial institution with businesses across retail and corporate banking, global markets, insurance and wealth management. 

The challenge

The challenge was to adopt multiple cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, GCP, and AliCloud in different regions across the globe. The accounting model was complex, as the client operates in more than 80 countries, with a complicated recharge model and rate card.

There had been an expressed desire to manage cloud spending centrally while federating responsibility to local countries and functions. However the client had limited cloud experience, and their on-premises tooling is primarily focused on cost management, with the IT cost management function being focused mainly on 3rd party contracts and cost optimisation. 

The solution

To address the challenges faced a new function was created within a newly formed Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) for the client. This new function focuses specifically on FinOps and brings together financial experts, commercial specialists, and technical personnel in a single location.

As part of the FinOps function three initial processes have been established for the client:

  • Cost Reporting and Transparency
  • Cost Recovery (including rate cards, charging models, etc.)
  • Cost Optimisation

These processes are designed to provide visibility into cloud spending, ensure accurate cost allocation and recovery, and identify opportunities for cost savings.

To ensure consistency in FinOps practices across the organisation, a global operating model was created for the organisation with clear roles and responsibilities defined through a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) framework.

There has been an evaluation of various tooling options, including third-party solutions and native services with data integrated into PowerBI. This evaluation aimed to identify the best tools for cost reporting, tracking, and optimisation.

The outcome

The implementation of the FinOps function and associated processes have led to several positive outcomes. Firstly, a new function was established with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, including a hiring plan to ensure the team is appropriately staffed.

The end-to-end financial management processes were revised to incorporate cloud spending (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) alongside existing business as usual processes. This revision ensured that there was a holistic view of their financial management processes and can manage their cloud spend more effectively.

The organisation now has clear and transparent information on cloud costs, providing them with greater visibility into their cloud spending across multiple cloud providers and regions. This transparency creates the opportunity to make informed decisions on cost optimisation and to identify opportunities for cost savings.

Finally, the implementation of the FinOps function has allowed for forecasting and a capacity forward view for 12 months. This view provides the organisation with greater predictability in their cloud spending, allowing them to plan and budget more effectively. 

Why FinOps? Read more

Client Case Studies