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The Linux Foundation Brings Together IT and Finance Teams to Advance Cloud Financial Management

FinOps Foundation is becoming a Linux Foundation effort to increase education and best practices for emerging FinOps discipline; new edX course provides foundation for education and community growth

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced the intent to host the FinOps Foundation to advance the discipline of FinOps through best practices, education, and standards.

The FinOps Foundation includes 1,500 individual members across the globe, representing more than 500 companies with more than $1 billion in revenue each. In the same way that DevOps revolutionized development by breaking down silos and increasing agility, FinOps increases the business value of cloud by bringing together technology, business and finance professionals with a new cultural set, knowledge skills and technical processes. Companies represented among membership include Atlassian, Autodesk, Bill.com, HERE Technologies, LiveRamp, Just Eat, Nationwide, Neustar, Nike, and Spotify, among others. 

“Where there is technology disruption, there is opportunity for business transformation. FinOps is exactly this and represents a shift in operations strategy, process, and culture,” said Mike Dolan, vice president and general manager, Linux Foundation Projects. “This type of disruption and transformation is also where community and industry-wide collaboration play critical roles in enabling a whole new market opportunity. We’re pleased to be the place where that work can happen.”

The FinOps community is defining cloud financial management standards and is increasing access to education and certification for this discipline across industries. As part of this effort, the Linux Foundation is announcing a new, free edX course, Introduction to FinOps, to advance education and knowledge in this emerging area and to cultivate a growing community of professionals. This introductory course will cover the basics of FinOps and how it can positively impact an organization by building a culture of accountability around cloud use that helps companies make good, timely, data-backed decisions in the cloud.

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“Technology and business leaders are seeking support for understanding how to manage cloud technologies and spending across their enterprises and the FinOps Foundation brings to bear the resources required to enable them to innovate inside their companies,” said J.R. Storment, executive director of the FinOps Foundation. “With the Linux Foundation’s support, especially across its world-class training organization, we can serve this growing community.”

FinOps is the operating model for the cloud, which is resulting in a shift that combines systems, best practices, and culture to increase an organization’s ability to understand cloud costs and make informed business decisions. FinOps ensures that companies get the most value from every dollar spent in the cloud. It pushes accountability for spending to the edge where developers control purchasing decisions, and provides a new set of centralized processes to maximize efficiency of purchases and the ability to allocate spending to teams.

Cloud spending is forecast to exceed $360B by 2022, according to research firm Gartner, but finance teams have very little insight into where that spend is being allocated within their organizations. The result is uncontrolled costs that aren’t properly forecast or documented along with lack of standardized tooling, which can lead to major losses or errors in critical accounting practices. Procurement of IT infrastructure has moved from taking days or weeks to seconds or minutes, which has dramatically accelerated application development but dramatically decreased efficiencies in financial operations.

“As the cloud native movement deepens inside organizations large and small, understanding how to optimize the infrastructure footprint through cultural change and engineering practices is critical,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). “CNCF welcomes the FinOps Foundation to the Linux Foundation and we look forward to collaborating across communities to improve cloud financial management for all.”

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Supporting Quotes
Atlassian
“The FinOps Foundation has helped us validate and grow our cloud financial management practices. Having the FinOps Foundation join the Linux Foundation is a great opportunity to see this community continue to develop FinOps practices from which we all benefit,” said Simon Beckett, team lead, Atlassian Cloud FinOps.

Nationwide
“As enterprises leverage public cloud providers, speed of development is increasing and also a risk of out of control costs.  FinOps provides a framework that brings together IT, Finance and Procurement teams and gives them a common language and processes that helps keep costs under control and keeps the focus on delivering business value. My team and I have connected with peers in the industry to get their insights and perspectives on common problems and to see what is coming next.  In addition there are opportunities for training and certification to take advantage of,” said Joseph Daly, director of cloud optimization, Nationwide.

Pearson
“Pearson joined the FinOps Foundation in Feb 2019 as we launched our global team internally. Since then we have leveraged resources from the F2 membership calls, networked within Slack with other practitioners and been able to present back to the share many of our lessons learned along this journey.  Being an education company it’s critical we are always learning. Early 2020, Pearson was able to do a private workshop with the foundation where all 8 of our team members attended the 8 hour workshop and successfully received certification. We immediately leveraged discussions in the workshop and started building our 2020 roadmap. We began mapping our milestones to the F2 principals and using the “crawl, walk, run” approach. The FinOps Foundation has personally helped me connect with many other practitioners that are very mature in Cloud Financial Management process and allowed me to bring best practices and automation ideas back to Pearson to implement, said Ashley Hromatko, senior cloud FinOps manager, Pearson.

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