What is a FinOps Practitioner?

When companies use the cloud, they often start without a FinOps team. Many of today’s FinOps professionals ended up in FinOps due to an interest in Tech & Finance; they also wanted to do the right thing for the company.

First, some self-pity, for fun
So the first FinOps role worth discussing is the FinOps practitioner. Our hero, often alone, starts to deep dive into cloud vendors’ billing files (a dreading task), learn some SQL, and possibly knows how to use a dashboard system, otherwise struggles to make the size of the data Excel-compatible and create graphs that allow other people to be aware of the cost of cloud and their trends.

That hero will continue working through the vastly complicated documentation, extracting more helpful content from the data and sharing the information as best as possible.

The FinOps Practitioner was rare, as the role requires knowledge from many fields like finance, cloud, tech, data management, reports, good writing, verbal skill and, very importantly, diplomacy.

Today, depending on your knowledge and capability, you can use tools to compensate for what you don’t know, but those tools will make many assumptions, so make sure you continue learning.

The FinOps Foundation view
The F2 (FinOps Foundation) page for the FinOps Practitioner is not helping; the skills recommended and objectives to achieve are incredibly complicated.

My (Frank) view
The FinOps Practitioner should always start by focusing on the people and create connections with people in other departments. Curiosity is an instinct; to find interesting facts that will trigger curiosity and further questions. Use that interest to ask for support, a build some unofficial, FinOps ambassadors.

Get people interested enough that getting the answers becomes a need. Only then look at the FinOps Framework, and work your way to crawling in each capability. Note that rate optimisation is the only capability that can be outsourced (That’s my job). For the rest, it is up to you.

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Thank you Frank for shedding light on the FinOps practitioner role in such a detailed down to earth way. This really shows how important this role is. As the FinOps landscape continues to evolve, I believe fostering this community, (FinOps Connect) where practitioners can share experiences, insights, and tools could further enhance collective knowledge.

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Pepe, thank you for the kind words. What is your role?

Do you mean my job role?

An update to my initial response. I think that one way to build trust, other than talking to people, is to create reports that explain things in the language of the recipient. Not a one-size-fits-all report, but a custom one.