In the end, it is worth it?

Is, in the end, moving to the Cloud and investing in FinOps worth it?

Migrating to the Cloud is lengthy and costly, usually blocking many other projects and people. The Simpler way to move to the Cloud is lift-and-shift, yet this approach seems more expensive than staying on-prem.

Financial implication
Then, the move from CAPEX to OPEX. The cloud vendors present the change as positive, yet it creates complications for finance. IT costs move from the Balance Sheet to the P&L; budgets are variable, forecasts are vastly wrong than on-prem, invoices are non-understandable and accounting for commitments can become a nightmare.

Once in the Cloud, it would help if you had a FinOps team to help read and understand the invoice and build bridges—that were not needed before—between Finance, Procurement and IT. Using the Cloud also requires regular meetings and updates, so no model is accurate for long.

The question
So, based on the above, and remembering that this is only a snippet of the complexities of moving to the Cloud, Is it worth it?

Many of the organizations that I speak to, very often share that the cost of moving to the cloud was much more expensive than they expected. Lift and Shift which moves the workload to the cloud, when there is not a refactoring or optimization plan, than that workload could actually be more expensive than intended (or possibly was when running on prem).

These points don’t answer whether its worth it or not, but what I believe is that the perception of it “not being worth it” can be mitigated with better planning, forecasting, and road mapping.

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These are key questions that demand an answer. But who is going to provide it? Not the CSPs, certainly - they are enjoying the rapid growth of their profitable cloud businesses. Not the FinOps community either - the complexities of managing cloud are what they thrive on.

The FinOps (dream) model - where cost-aware engineers and dynamic cross-functional collaboration combine to optimise cloud costs, looks no nearer to realisation now than it did 3 years ago. Instead, there appears to be widespread ignorance and indifference to the value challenges cloud creates.

Since none of us are anticipating a widespread abandonment of cloud strategies, how do we see things unfolding over the next 3 years?

My guess is that enterprises will turn to AI-based tools to automate the end-to-end process of optimising cloud infrastructure and costs. These tools may use some of the concepts of FinOps as we currently understand it, but remove the need for engineers and Finance teams to learn new practices and new ways of working together.

I say, bring it on!

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