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FinOps: The key to maximizing your cloud investment

3-minute read

September 15, 2021

Accenture is now a Premier Member of The FinOps Foundation.

As growth in the cloud accelerates rapidly, businesses are struggling to control their cloud expenditures and achieve the desired return on their investments. In fact, research from Accenture found that only about one in three companies reports achieving the full value expected on their cloud investments.

Even once organizations are “living in the cloud,” they often encounter a common set of problems that can lead to significantly growing cloud overspend:

  • Complex Pricing and Billing ― Cloud spend is more dynamic and less predictable than the traditional on-premises infrastructure model; and understanding the vast amount of data on cloud pricing and billing can be daunting.
  • Lack of Accountability ― Cloud service spend is now directly in the hands of the engineers, often entirely bypassing traditional financial and procurement processes.
  • Lack of Transparency ― Organizations need costs to be more transparent, real-time, and tied back to business value. Moving from CapEx-based IT spend to OpEx is only the start. Organizations need unit-level economics and real-time feedback for their business cases.
  • Sporadic and Partial Optimization ― Optimization of cloud resource usage and associated spend is not a one-off exercise, but an ongoing effort, managed across multiple layers, commitments, and tactics, both centrally with subject matter experts and directly by engineering teams.
  • Reviewing Supplier Costs in Isolation ― Organizations adopting multi-cloud strategies often struggle to normalize and aggregate cloud cost and usage data into a single point of truth.

That’s where Cloud FinOps can help. Shorthand for “Cloud Financial Operations,” Cloud FinOps is all about bringing greater financial accountability to managing the variable spend model of cloud, enabling distributed teams to make business trade-offs between speed, cost and quality. It’s about developing the maturity surrounding the management and cost optimization of cloud spend to establish and enable effective, real-time control.

Why is this important? Because cloud is fundamentally different from how on-premises technology infrastructure is managed. Unlike the traditional capital-expenditure model ― buying your assets, typically with three- or five-year depreciation and amortization cycles ― a FinOps model transitions the organization to a new mindset around real-time operational expenditure based on by-the-minute (or even sub-second!) consumption.

And, while memory or storage-space limits might not be a concern in cloud like they are in on-premise models, budget exhaustion is a very real risk. That’s why even software development teams need to think of cost as a first-class performance metric.

As a fast-emerging industry-wide standard, FinOps can help organizations get the most value from their cloud investments. But it’s about more than just cost reductions and directing the savings elsewhere; it’s also about streamlining IT infrastructure and operations to enable an organization to, among other things, develop and release products more quickly and drive greater and new sources of revenue.

That’s why Accenture is now a Premier Member in The FinOps Foundation (“F2”), the non-profit industry group focused on advancing the people and practice of cloud financial management. I’m honored to join the Foundation’s Governing Board, which sets the strategy of the Foundation, and delighted that my colleague Dean Oliver is joining the Foundation’s Technical Advisory Council, which sets the standards and practices for the FinOps community.

Our membership in F2 is part of Accenture’s long-time commitment to cloud and part of our launch last September of Accenture Cloud First. We announced a $3 billion investment over three years to help clients across all industries rapidly become “cloud-first” businesses and accelerate their digital transformation to realize greater value at speed and scale

As a premier member of the FinOps Foundation, Accenture will contribute:

  • Our vast and deep knowledge and expertise in cloud from the more than 77,000 professionals across Accenture Cloud First.
  • Our focus to help the Foundation set the industry standard for cloud financial management. FinOps requires a very niche set of skills across cloud technology, finance, organizational transformation, and change management ― all key areas of expertise for Accenture.
  • Our experience from more than 34,000 cloud projects helping many clients ― including some of the world’s largest banks, media and technology companies ― maximize their cloud investments. Equally important, we bring our own experience using the FinOps approach ourselves. Accenture is now 95% in the cloud, which has enabled our 569,000 professionals to support clients in more than 40 industries.

F2 members become part of an independent community focused on sharing best practices in cloud financial management, with access to members-only communication channels, speakers, workshops, webinars, meetup groups, and related events. The FinOps Foundation and community work together to define cloud financial management education and standards and advance this discipline across industries.

As a leader in this space, Accenture is excited to join forces with the FinOps Foundation ― the premier industry group ― to help organizations understand how to achieve the maximum value and profitability from their cloud investments.


Mike Eisenstein

Managing Director – Cloud Optimization, Accenture Cloud First