We recently visited Finout in Tel-Aviv, a company that has been around since 2021. Since then, it has grown quite a bit with its FinOps platform, which monitors and manages cloud expenses. This is to reduce costs, as organizations are currently said to have a lot of “cloud waste.”
In covering exactly what Finout does and how it is evolving, it is also essential to know the basics of FinOps. While this discipline has been around for some time, it still deserves explanation. Our visit during the IT Press Tour made that clear as well, when 60 minutes of the two-hour presentation was spent explaining FinOps.
To best capture the essence of the concept, we briefly grab the description of the FinOps Foundation. This FinOps Foundation is committed to the discipline and says the following: “FinOps is an evolving cloud financial management discipline and cultural practice that enables organizations to get maximum business value by helping engineering, finance, technology and business teams to collaborate on data-driven spending decisions.”
FinOps thus offers teams a way to manage cloud expenses. Everyone is responsible for their own cloud usage, but there is a central team driving FinOps. The common goal is to maximize the business value of the cloud. That means, on the one hand, saving money with FinOps, while also finding ways to make money.
Change towards profitability
Finout specifically cites that spending on public cloud IaaS hardware and infrastructure software has been growing explosively year-over-year since 2015. That growth is expected to continue. Moreover, SaaS solutions can be found across the technology landscape of organizations. Think middleware like Stripe and Auth0, applications like Slack and HubSpot and infrastructure like AWS and Snowflake. One might wonder if such solutions are being used optimally and if there might be cost savings to be realized.
A situation sketch shared with us by Finout makes this idea a bit more tangible. Suppose your organization chose to run on AWS at the start of the cloud era. After going live, cost is usually not thought about very often. Developers build applications and develop other things for the company. Then more IT solutions are added for a data warehouse and data lake, Content Delivery Networks and observability. Meanwhile things like storage, databases, compute, identity and security are also growing. The whole landscape has become huge. Everything costs money, but the overview is lost.
It can happen, for example, that storage is five to 10 percent higher than before, without your organization really knowing about it. According to FinOps thinking, you do want to be aware of such things. By this, FinOps is not saying that the cloud is bad and should reduce usage. Or, as Finout makes the comparison, “No, you don’t stop buying fuel for your car because it costs money. You become more efficient.”
Monitor, manage and reduce
Finout’s platform thus combines all cloud expenses. This MegaBill provides insight into what the organization spends and why. In doing so, Finout promises to be able to monitor everything, regardless of how complex the environment is. Within the MegaBill, it is also possible to assign costs to the right place. There are standard connectors to pick out the costs of resources such as Kubernetes pods.
In addition, the platform features CostGuard. This component detects inactive resources and makes recommendations. Thus, the platform should give organizations “all the tools you need to save on cloud expenses from day one.”
During the presentation, Finout also shared some figures on what companies have accomplished by adopting the platform. It states that companies have saved 50 percent in engineering hours by embracing cost monitoring. They would also reduce costs by an average of 20 percent annually.
Kubernetes takes more central role
Looking a little further into what Finout plans to do next, it is notable that it will focus more on Kubernetes spending. At the KubeCon EU conference it announced a “suite of cost management tools for managing, forecasting and optimizing multicloud Kubernetes expenses.” These provide FinOps teams with a central place to understand and reduce Kubernetes spending across all clouds. It also comes with forecasts, which in turn is beneficial in providing organizations with assurance that spending will stay in line with the budgets available for it.
In that regard, Finout continues to look further with its FinOps solution to provide new capabilities, even though the platform is still fairly new. We look forward to seeing how the company continues to evolve.
Also read: Cloud spending soars: how to reduce costs?