The FinOps Foundation substantiates its existence by the fact that about a third of all cloud spend is wasted and focuses majority of its attention on cloud spend, rather than long-term profitability – their definition of FinOps implies that FinOps is the force (the right cultural practice) which controls all modern well-run firms (!) – notice the term does include all other disciplines including security, business strategy or the types of coffee your workplace orders:

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.

Cloud FinOps Definition

Nevertheless, that FinOps force has serious problems, and it’s not just defrauding unsophisticated audience – it does not survive critical analysis:

  • The FinOps force’s key preposterous assumption is the separation of the cloud usage (the decision makers are software engineers) and the cloud costs (only FinOps teams can manage). They do not understand that any decision always has its costs associated – if you do not consider costs in your cloud architecture decisions explicitly, you are implicitly assuming infinite budgets.
  • A deep-dive into its unique philosophy uncovers even more striking assumptions – software engineering is allegedly more cognitive-difficult than FinOps so that FinOps can be run by not so smart people?!?

Therefore, we advise against using the term FinOps since it’s an ambiguous, all-encompassing term nobody can deliver. Instead, we recommend using more specific terminology, such as Cloud Financial Management.

In addition, we claim that there is nothing special about computing requiring special FinOps teams or special culture – for example, there is not much of difference between healthcare spend and computing spend – the doctors cannot provision an EC2 instance but can address your illness using a wide variety of drugs and there are more or less effective drugs / treatments.

Cloud Spend Waste

Various surveys put the level of cloud spend waste at 20-40%, with each survey using a slightly different definition of waste. However, this figure is comparable with waste in other industries. For example, one third of world’s food is thrown out, or most airplanes fly not fully occupied.

Time is always more valuable than any cloud waste caused by taking productive shortcuts. You should always focus on growing revenues faster than the costs.

While no total waste would be ideal, of course, being effective is preferred to being efficient since the world is too complex, and you must experiment and do not know the ultimate target beforehand so you cannot be efficient.

Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing. Efficiency is defined as the ability to accomplish something with the least amount of wasted time, money, and effort or competency in performance. Effectiveness is defined as the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result; success.


Unsophisticated Audience Deceptions

The FinOps Foundation’s credibility is significantly destroyed by the patterns of fraud and deceit by their staff and/or sponsors and/or Board Members targeting unsophisticated audience.

For example, CloudFix, FinOps Foundation Premier Partner having a seat on FinOps Foundation board, claims that it can unconditionally deliver 15-60% savings per every single AWS service, no matter how optimized they already are! Surprisingly enough, such an allegedly excellent product is unknown, and we strongly advise against using it – the website provides no evidence to back up these unrealistic savings.

This statement is comparable with the statement “Redbull gives you wings” which was found dishonest.

Similarly, certain FinOps Foundation sponsors still recommend buying AWS reserved instances, rather than Savings Plans as recommended by AWS, since the very sponsors sell expensive solutions for reserved instances optimization.

The real problem with public cloud – lack of cloud knowledge

The FinOps Foundation and/or their sponsors say it’s perfectly fine to run cloud architectures that are not optimized. They say, yes, it’s difficult to keep up with all new developments so you should not. Instead, our software, such as CloudFix, will solve this for you.

This approach is patently false – the FinOps Foundation curriculum contains no special magic knowledge which software engineers cannot master. There is no alternative to being a productive cloud architect than to non-stop keeping up with all the cloud developments, including the knowledge of the Cloud Finanancial Management.