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How To Find The Best FinOps Automation Solution For Your Top Priority Outcome

The first installment of our FinOps Automation Tips and Best Practices series focused on what FinOps is and why automating it can be a game-changer for your business.

Now we’re back for part two, which will guide you on how to choose your optimal outcome and select the best automation options to suit your needs.

Enjoy the full video for an in-depth explanation, or see the brief summary below if you’re just here for the highlights.

How To Find The Best FinOps Automation Solution For Your Top Priority Outcome

Start with the FinOps domains that can most easily be automated

In module one, we discussed the different capabilities, or domains, of FinOps within any given organization. Some of these lend themselves particularly well to automation, while others are more tricky. Understanding which is which will help you choose your top priority outcome and blaze a clear path forward.

Erik Peterson, CTO and founder of CloudZero, recommends automating each domain in this order unless your needs lie specifically elsewhere:

How to find the best FinOps automation solution for your top priority outcome: What should be automated

1. Cloud usage and cost optimization

This is a great place to start, because software like the CloudZero platform can handle almost all of the difficult parts for you; you’ll be able to skip the cost allocation, data analysis, management of shared costs, and the ingestion and normalization of all your cost data across various cloud providers that you’d otherwise have to handle manually.

2. Performance tracking and benchmarking

Similarly, CloudZero can automate the way you measure unit costs within your business. This makes creating and managing budgets much quicker and easier, though you’ll still need some human oversight for these processes.

3. Real-time decision making

Though platforms like CloudZero can notify you when an anomaly is detected or when spending seems to have exceeded the budget, actually deciding what to do in those scenarios should be left to your human team.

4. Cloud rate optimization

A good portion of your rate optimization — such as finding great commitment-based discounts or spot instances — can be automated with platforms like ProsperOps and Xosphere.

5. Organizational alignment

You’ll be able to automate some tasks, for instance managing resources to balance workloads. But there’s no way to automate the way your teammates collaborate or how your engineers choose to build their projects.

6. Cloud usage optimization

Some usage optimization processes can be automated, but others — such as making sure your organization has a positive culture in regard to upholding FinOps principles for cloud usage — are firmly in the domain of your team.

Choose which outcomes matter the most to you

You might want to:

  • Lower your overall cloud costs
  • Reduce wasted resources
  • Encourage your team to take accountability for their costs
  • Improve cost visibility throughout your whole organization
  • Achieve a higher level of operational efficiency

If one of those outcomes jumps out at you in particular, be sure to watch the full video for the in-depth discussion about specific goals you could accomplish under each category and how to get started.

You could start as simply as automating the way your team gets notified about upcoming FinOps education requirements or as broadly as automating the ingestion, normalization, and analysis of cost data across numerous cloud providers and third-party services at once.

Keep in mind that many of these outcomes — for instance, increasing the visibility of cost information — may naturally result in your team optimizing costs and developing a shared culture of cost efficiency.

In this way, you can use automation to encourage and facilitate the human-centric processes that cannot be automated.

Choose your solution

Cloud providers offer some limited automation and analysis tools, but to dive into your company’s data and make real strides with your FinOps strategy, you’ll probably need to build or buy a software solution.

If you’d like to start small, you can look into building your own macros or finding specialized programs that accomplish one or two specific goals at a time. You can always grow as your FinOps strategy evolves.

However, the most powerful and efficient way to automate your FinOps processes is to use one or a combination of the existing third-party tools that are dedicated to your goals.

Combined, CloudZero, Xosphere, and ProsperOps form a powerful trifecta of cost-saving automation platforms. You may want to start by automating your top-priority outcome and layering on the others after you get the ball rolling, or you could dive in with all three and greatly accelerate your FinOps journey.

For more on choosing the best FinOps automation solution for your situation, be sure to watch the full discussion, as these experts are brimming with knowledge and tips!

The Cloud Cost Playbook

The step-by-step guide to cost maturity

The Cloud Cost Playbook cover