FinOps Foundation’s “FinOps Certified Professional” Certification

We write to share our experience and reflections upon being the first students, and graduates (Jiri & Ermanno) of the FinOps Foundation’s FinOps Certified Professional certification program.

Significance of the Cloud Costs Problem

While only 5-15% of IT workloads have been moved from companies’ own in-house data centers to the public clouds so far, the cloud adoption grew at 25% in the last year, out of which 40% came from North America. The cloud costs are enormous and up to 32% enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure is wasted (Flexera 2022)Why your cloud computing costs are so high – and what you can do about them – SiliconANGLE explains that

  • A recent survey of 350 IT and cloud decision-makers by cloud observability platform maker Virtana Inc. found that 82% said they had incurred unnecessary cloud costs, 56% lack tools to manage their spending programmatically and 86% can’t easily get a global view of all their costs when they need it. Gartner Inc. predicts that 60% of infrastructure and operations leaders will encounter public cloud cost overruns. And Flexera Software LLC’s 2020 State of the Cloud Report estimated that 30% of enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure is wasted.
  • As a result, “40% of cloud-based instances are at least one size too big,” estimates DoiT’s Purcell. “You’d be surprised how often workloads run at 5% to 10% utilization.
  • Studies show that up to 46% of data is just trash,” said Gary Lyng, chief marketing officer at Aparavi Software Corp., a distributed data management software provider.“Get rid of that first before you back it up or move it to the cloud.”
  • However, DoiT’s Purcell estimates that fewer than 25% of customers take advantage of cost-savings plans such as reserved instances and spot instances. “It’s like going to the grocery store; I have a pocket full of coupons, but I have to make sure they’re the right ones,” he said.

FinOps Foundation

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 Foundation

FinOps Foundation has been established with the goals of

  • Collecting the body of FinOps knowledge across public clouds – this is their principal contribution – without FinOps Foundation, there is no single place covering independently the entire problem space of rapidly evolving cloud financial management – each cloud provider may discuss their cost optimization tools but certainly lacks the global picture of the industry best practices.
  • Promoting FinOps Best Practices and collaboration among its members – FinOps Foundation addresses these via periodic Zoom calls or conferences, and via their certification.

Certifications offered by FinOps Foundation

We have always believed that obtaining certification is the most efficient way to obtain the state-of-the-art knowledge of any field.

FinOps Foundation offers several certification programs.

For cloud architects and C-level executives, we certainly recommend obtaining

  • FinOps Certified Practitioner certification – an entry level, easy certification covering the FinOps Domain. Processing the FinOps Book should be sufficient preparation for the exam.
  • FinOps Certified Professional certification – the most comprehensive certification offered by the FinOps Foundation, further enhancing the previously obtained FinOps Certified Practitioner certification.

The FinOps Foundation Framework

All FinOps Foundation certification programs cover the FinOps Framework at different levels of detail. The FinOps Certified Professional curriculum expands the FinOps Domains into about 40 distinct capabilities and teaches the industry best practices for each of them.

The value of the FinOps Certified Professional certification

While the certification price is substantial ($3750), it has already paid off for us – its benefits include

  • Access to the FinOps Foundation Slack with private channels where virtually everyone playing any significant role in FinOps from around the world is present and where anybody can ask any question – this has been the primary FinOps learning place for me for months – every member of the FinOps Foundation is facing similar problems and discussing them while keeping company confidentiality has been an enormous learning experience
  • Meeting fellow FinOps Certified Professional Students – this alone has led to a number of unexpected opportunities for everyone
  • Self-Selection Signal – The FinOps Certified Professional Badge on your LinkedIn Profile certainly signifies your ahead-of-time problem solving attitude.

Content Contribution Part of the FinOps Certified Professional certification

The certification comprises many parts – watching videos, answering quizzes, 2 group activities calls, writing essays, taking the final exam, promoting the FinOps Best Practices (Service Requirement) and also contributing new Content to the FinOps Foundation Curriculum.

As a part of our contribution, we produced a blog post the spend and usage forecasting on AWS and this video:

Publication Locations

This article is also published at Ermanno’s website.