The Rise of Cloud FinOps Jobs

Apr 8th, 2024
The Rise of Cloud FinOps Jobs
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Cloud computing has shifted from a “nice to have” to a “must have” cornerstone of modern businesses. For tech companies in particular, the cloud offers unparalleled scalability, flexibility, and access to powerful computer resources. However, managing cloud costs effectively can be a challenge. Spending can quickly spiral out of control, especially for companies with complex multi-cloud environments. Understanding and attributing costs to specific departments or teams becomes a daunting task. 

This is where Cloud FinOps comes in. An amalgamation of “Finance” and “DevOps,” FinOps is an increasingly popular discipline designed to optimize cloud spending and ensure resources align with business objectives. Companies are looking to hire Cloud FinOps professionals to manage this process, which often involves fostering a cultural shift within the organization. 

In many companies, siloed operations keep engineers and IT staff at a distance from budgeting and business decisions (and vice versa). A FinOps mindset dismantles these siloes, encouraging cross-departmental collaboration towards shared goals. Cloud FinOps professionals are there to bridge the gap between technical and financial expertise, with their ability to understand the needs of all stakeholders. 

Eli Mutchink, FinOps Lead at cybersecurity company Armis, highlights the critical role of FinOps in providing various stakeholders with the information relevant to them: “Different stakeholders have diverse information needs. Customized cost dashboards provide the VP of R&D, finance, sales, and team leaders with the specific insights they need.” Mutchnik uses Finout to create these dashboards, saving countless hours previously spent on manual data export and manipulation to meet individual department needs.  

With a staggering ⅓ of cloud spending going to waste, the potential impact of those in Cloud FinOps jobs is undeniable. They offer companies a significant opportunity to work more efficiently, achieving cost optimization and savings.

Read on to learn more about the rise in Cloud FinOps job opportunities and whether it might be the right fit for your next career move.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Cloud FinOps Jobs are Booming Today
  2. What Do Cloud FinOps Jobs Entail?
  3. Landing Your First Cloud FinOps Job
  4. Is Your Future in FinOps?

Why Cloud FinOps Jobs are Booming Today

Several factors are leading to the high prevalence of Cloud FindOps jobs today, including: 

  • Exponential Cloud Infrastructure Growth - According to Gartner, cloud adoption will reach a tipping point by 2028, becoming a business necessity for most companies. Cloud spending is projected to exceed $1 trillion. 
  • Need to Optimize Costs - As cloud usage grows, so do the associated costs. Unchecked or unmonitored, these expenses can escalate quickly. Cloud FinOps offers a vital framework for optimizing cloud spending and allocating resources efficiently and in line with business goals. 
  • Establishment of FinOps as a Discipline - While still a relatively new concept, FinOps is gaining traction. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle have all joined the FinOps Foundation putting their stamp of approval on the field and creating an expectation for companies to adopt FinOps best practices. 

The confluence of the above factors has led to a situation in which companies are simultaneously scaling their cloud usage while striving to contain costs. Companies are also beginning to recognize the need for a cultural shift that demands a company-wide awareness of how cloud spending impacts the bottom line. 

Shipping and logistics company DFDS tapped cloud architect Jan Wiberg to serve as the FinOps lead, helping to establish a FinOps frame of mind throughout the company to keep everyone accountable for cloud costs. Wiberg reported: “Once developers had access to cost data, they quickly identified and eliminated unnecessary expenses.” This shift in cultural perspective resulted in rapid cost savings for DFDS, demonstrating the tangible benefit of a well-executed FinOps strategy.  

As cloud usage becomes an indispensable part of business strategies, so too will Cloud FinOps positions within companies. According to a recent study, 85% of surveyed businesses across Europe are actively seeking hires with FinOps skills. 90% believe that hiring people with a combination of technical knowledge and cost optimization skills is critical to be able to navigate the challenge of expanding cloud usage while maintaining sustainable cost control. 

What Do Cloud FinOps Jobs Entail?

Unlike purely technical engineers or highly specialized financial analysts, Cloud FinOps professionals require a unique blend of expertise. Proficiency in coding or in-depth accounting knowledge isn’t a prerequisite for most Cloud FinOps jobs, but it is essential to have a foundational understanding of both technology and financial concepts. More importantly, these individuals must excel at strategic thinking, clear communication, and the ability to foster collaboration across departments. 

While specific responsibilities will vary by company, core functions are likely to include:

  • Tool Selection and Management - Because it is virtually impossible to gain full visibility into the complex web of cloud spend manually, companies should invest in technological tools to automate the process. A major component of Cloud FinOps jobs is to identify the right solution for the business, liaise with the provider, and train employees on how to use it.
  • Cost Analysis & Expense Management - FinOps professionals analyze cloud cost data to identify trends and uncover cost optimization opportunities. They do this in close collaboration with the development and financial teams to create budgets and spending plans that align with overall business goals and address the needs of each department.
  • Reporting - Transparency is a basic tenet of FinOps culture. Cloud FinOps professionals ensure that relevant stakeholders have access to reports containing the information that is most pertinent to their roles. This may mean creating the reports themselves or training employees how to do it themselves - or a combination of both. 

As the liaison between engineering and business departments, FinOps professionals must have strong communication and leadership skills that enable them to unite people around a common goal. They need to be able to communicate the importance of operating according to FinOps best practices and make it easy for people to comply. 

Forter, a provider of AI-powered fraud protection, exemplifies the growing need for FinOps expertise. In the company’s early stages, cloud costs were simply absorbed into general operating expenses and there was no team member dedicated to the task of tracking cloud spend. As Forter scaled up and cloud usage increased, so did the associated costs. This prompted the leadership to re-evaluate their approach. “The leadership recognized that cloud spending is a huge portion of our margin,” explained Staff Software Engineer Vitaliy Pisarev. “It became clear that we needed to take a more serious look at how we manage these costs.” This realization marked the beginning of Forter’s FinOps journey, a path countless other companies are beginning as well. 

Landing Your First Cloud FinOps Job

The field of Cloud FinOps offers a wealth of career opportunities. To ease your entry into this exciting field, consider these steps: 

  • Develop Relevant Skills - While deep expertise is not mandatory, a working knowledge of both technology and finance is crucial. We recommend learning basic accounting principles and financial analysis including budgeting and forecasting. This, along with a general understanding of cloud computing concepts will set you up well for Cloud FinOps jobs.
  • Obtain Certification(s) - There are various FinOps courses and certifications available that teach the skills needed to manage cloud spending. The certifications cover topics such as cloud economics, cost optimization, and more. Obtaining these certifications is a great way to enhance your skills and establish professional credibility.
  • Search Job Boards - The FinOps Foundation is a good resource for anyone looking for Cloud FinOps jobs. Their job board is easily searchable by location and other criteria. 
  • Network - Connecting with established FinOps professionals via online communities, webinars, or industry events can help them learn more about the industry and open doors to job opportunities. 

Is Your Future in FinOps?

As cloud usage grows, so do the associated costs. Especially during difficult economic times, company management will demand explanations and understanding of the reasoning behind these higher costs and will seek ways to reduce spending. At the same time, engineers will need to justify the value proposition of these costs and demonstrate their alignment with business goals. 

Cloud FinOps provides a solution to this potential conflict. By building a culture of collaboration, FinOps brings together engineers and finance professionals, providing each party with the same information presented in a way that aligns with their respective expertise. This transparency allows for informed decision-making, shared accountability, and ultimately greater efficiency and productivity, and companies that adopt FinOps will outshine their competitors. 

Cloud FinOps professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring that businesses maximize returns on their cloud investments. The demand is there and Cloud FinOps jobs can provide a fulfilling career path for individuals passionate about the intersection of technology and finance. 

Companies committed to a FinOps culture are adopting Finout as their cloud-cost management solution. Click here to learn more

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