How can I assess the ROI of a FinOps Assessment?

It’s helpful to get a consultant to do a FinOps Assessment to baseline FinOps maturity and identify areas for improvement. But how do FinOps leaders justify the expense (typically $5k - $25k depending on scope)? Anyone got any suggestions for making a ROI estimate to strengthen the pitch to budget holders?

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Too often ROI is more a feeling than a real measure. Here is my proposed approach to structure a way to understand the ROI.

Using a technique learned in French school, let’s split the problem into its components.

ROI can be split into

  • Return: Assuming money being the unit of measure, then the amount of money generated by the investment is the return.
    • That return must be related to a business metric (sales or transactions).
    • The return (i.e. the amount of money generated by the investment) needs to be easy to obtain.
    • There must be a recognition of what good looks like and what is a good ROI. This might change over time as the FinOps practice matures.
  • Investment what is the investment, how is it calculated, does it include people costs, running costs. Are we checking the investment of a cloud migration, or the long term return in a Cloud strategy?

ROI is not simple, but applying some thinking ahead of time and agreeing on what good looks like, can go a long way.