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FinOps vs. DevOps: Understanding the Key Differences


“FinOps” and “DevOps” are frameworks that, when leveraged effectively, keep businesses competitive. 

The IT industry has focused on DevOps for a faster approach to software development. Now, as more organizations move workloads to the cloud, the cost of operating cloud systems has become the primary IT concern—even surpassing security. 

FinOps is a newer discipline in many organizations — a comprehensive approach that combines financial accountability with operational excellence to manage and optimize cloud spending without sacrificing performance.  

Though distinct in their methods, businesses can combine them to maximize operational efficiency. This blog explores the differences and similarities between FinOps and DevOps and the benefits of using both. 

What is FinOps?

FinOps, short for financial operations, represents an evolving cloud financial management framework that advocates for collaborative responsibility for an organization’s cloud infrastructure and costs. 

Although the term is relatively new to the IT industry, it addresses previously popular concepts such as cloud cost management or cloud optimization.

It encourages cross-functional collaboration and financial accountability between finance, operations, and engineering teams. FinOps aims to get the most value from the cloud

The practice integrates financial best practices into technology operations. It involves continuous monitoring, analysis, and optimization of cloud spend to improve cloud savings and resource utilization. 

Benefits of FinOps

Implementing FinOps principles involves a shift in the approach to cloud cost management, aligning financial strategies with operational efficiencies. It plays a crucial role in helping companies manage their cloud spend, but its benefits go far beyond that, including

  • Better visibility into cloud spending
  • Improved cost accountability across teams
  • Optimized cloud resource utilization
  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Better alignment of cloud spending with business objectives
  • Enhanced decision-making through financial and operational metrics
  • Continuous cost optimization and management
  • Strengthened collaboration between finance, operations, and engineering teams
  • Faster adaptation to changing cloud technologies and pricing models
  • Greater scalability and flexibility in cloud infrastructure management

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a cultural and collaborative approach to software development and IT operations. It aims to improve communication, collaboration, and efficiency across the entire software development lifecycle. Overall, the goal is to deliver software faster and with greater reliability. 

Breaking down silos between teams, a DevOps model promotes a culture of collaboration. Automation in the software development lifecycle is also a core objective. 

Benefits of DevOps

A DevOps model allows developers and operations teams to move at a high velocity. The benefits of DevOps focus on speed and reliability, offering an accelerated time-to-market, but it also offers excellent efficiency and productivity. Other top benefits of DevOps include: 

  • Accelerated software development and deployment cycles
  • Improved collaboration and communication between development and operations teams
  • Enhanced product quality and fewer software defects
  • Increased efficiency through automation of repetitive tasks
  • Greater stability and reliability of applications
  • Faster identification and resolution of issues
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction through faster delivery of features
  • More effective resource utilization
  • Increased agility, enabling quicker response to market changes
  • Better alignment of IT operations with business objectives

Key differences between FinOps and DevOps

DevOps focuses on IT operations, like iteratively developing and deploying software to the cloud. FinOps, on the other hand, mainly focuses on cost and performance efficiency, often at a granular level of unit economics

FinOps practices provide finance, engineering, and business teams with data-driven spending reports. It brings a cultural practice that enables organizations to get the maximum business value from the cloud, helping the DevOps team, as well as finance, and other business units. 

Having a FinOps-aware DevOps team is crucial, as the saying goes, “In the cloud, every engineering decision is a purchasing decision.” In other words, each resource and workload deployed into the cloud has a cost. More efficient engineering results in a lower cloud invoice.

1. Focus and objectives

FinOps focuses on financial control and cloud cost optimization, while DevOps emphasizes speed, efficiency, and reliability in software development.

2. Scope

FinOps has a broader organizational scope involving finance, procurement, and IT to optimize cloud costs and efficiency. DevOps focuses on collaboration between development and operations teams. FinOps focuses on the overall financial management of the cloud, while DevOps is more specific to improving the development and operations workflows.

3. Roles and responsibilities

FinOps teams include finance analysts, cloud economists, cloud engineers, and procurement specialists, while DevOps teams consist of developers, operations engineers, and QA specialists. 

Traditional approaches result in siloed roles and teams. FinOps and DevOps aim to bring further collaboration, though in different roles and responsibility areas. 

4. Core practices and processes

The core practices of FinOps (such as cost allocation and budgeting) primarily focus on costs—and there are many tools that can assist with optimizing costs. Whereas, DevOps practices focus on automating processes that historically have been manual and slow, such as CD and CI.

5. Tools and methodologies used

FinOps employs cloud cost management tools like AWS Cost Explorer, while DevOps relies on a diverse set of automation and monitoring tools such as Jenkins, Ansible, and Prometheus. 

FinOps tools cater to financial visibility and optimization, while DevOps tools span a broader range of activities, from code integration to deployment and monitoring in the software development process.

6. Impact on organizational processes and culture

FinOps influences financial and budgeting processes to promote a cost-aware culture in cloud usage. A FinOps model impacts processes and culture by providing real-time cost visibility, accountability, and optimized spending. 

DevOps emphasizes continuous integration and deployment, enabling swift adaptation to changing requirements. While FinOps ensures financial effectiveness, DevOps accelerates software delivery, driving a culture of collaboration, rapid innovation, and agile methodologies.

7. Key metrics

In FinOps, key metrics include cost efficiency, tracking cloud spend against output, and return on investment (ROI) for optimized cloud financial management. DevOps metrics focus on deployment frequency, measuring how often new code is released, and application performance metrics like response time and error rates.

How do FinOps and DevOps complement each other?

By combining FinOps and DevOps frameworks, organizations can align financial optimization with operational efficiency. 

Aligns costs with development cycles

Aligning cloud costs with development cycles cultivates a cost-conscious and efficient approach to software delivery. Integrating FinOps practices into DevOps boosts efficiency. Developers become more aware of cost metrics, assisting in fostering a culture of responsibility. 

Employing both approaches leads to streamlined processes and cost optimization in the software development lifecycle. 

Enhances collaboration across teams

Collaboration bridges the gap between financial optimization and streamlined development efforts. Communication between finance, operations, and development teams ensures shared goals and a unified approach. It improves efficiency and increases quality. 

Integrating DevOps and FinOps emphasizes the importance of collaboration between business and engineering teams.  

Optimizes cloud costs and performance

Combining DevOps and FinOps helps with better utilization of resources. Optimizing cloud costs is the goal of FinOps, yet it’s no small feat. ProsperOps offers a cloud cost optimization solution that helps both FinOps and DevOps teams. It automatically manages and optimizes AWS and GCP commitment plans to save money and reduce financial risk with zero manual effort. This frees up FinOps teams to focus on higher-value tasks. ProsperOps also assists DevOps teams with time, as autonomously managing discounts allows engineers to focus on innovating. 

Improves strategic planning and forecasting

Uniting FinOps and DevOps teams allows for broader strategic planning and forecasting. By aligning financial goals with development strategies, organizations can anticipate cloud resource needs, optimize costs, and ensure long-term financial stability. 

Better visibility across both teams fosters more efficient financial forecasting and resource management. 

Leverage ProsperOps’ automation for effective FinOps implementation

ProsperOps’ platform autonomously manages discount instruments for AWS and GCP users, freeing DevOps teams to focus on developing and optimizing workloads without worrying about financial overhead. 

We optimize a portfolio of discount instruments, adapting dynamically to usage changes in real-time, simplifying cloud financial management, and ensuring the most cost-effective commitments. ProsperOps enables more cloud savings with less financial risk and zero ongoing effort. 

To explore how ProsperOps can streamline your cloud cost optimization, sign up for a demo.



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