4.5 min to readFinOps Services

5 Things Every FinOps Practitioner Needs to Know: Highlights from FinOps X 2023

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Dan OrtmanFinOps & Cloud Services Director, SoftwareOne
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If you couldn’t make it to FinOps X in San Diego this year, you were not alone. With 1,200 FinOps practitioners registered –and hundreds more on the waiting list– this year’s sold-out event outshined its previous year's attendance by over four times.

The surge in this year’s attendance reflects the soaring interest in cloud financial management (FinOps) and rapid growth in the FinOps community. Data from the FinOps Foundation support this. From a mere 26 members in 2019, the foundation has now blossomed to include over 11,000 members, with 48 of the esteemed Fortune 50 companies being part of this vibrant community. The exponential growth of the FinOps community, supported by the FinOps Foundation's membership data, exemplifies the widespread adoption of this new framework.


This year’s event had something for everyone—whether they were just starting their FinOps journey or looking for advanced strategies to take their practice to the next level.

If you couldn’t make it to FinOps X, we’ve got you covered with the top five key takeaways from the event:

1. Early adopters are maturing their FinOps practices, but most companies are still in the crawl phase.

Last year, the conference focused on helping organizations understand what FinOps is and how to start building a practice. This year, it included more sessions to help attendees expand their FinOps practices into other areas, such as software asset management (SAM) and IT Asset Management (ITAM). The shift in content shows that the FinOps community is maturing quickly.

However, we’re starting to see a divide between the early adopters taking their FinOps practices to the next level and those just getting started. Even though FinOps best practices are becoming standardized, many companies are progressing slowly.

This could be because many companies lack a clear FinOps roadmap and aren’t sure where to start. They may also struggle with culture and collaboration, as one of the top FinOps challenges is getting organization-wide adoption. FinOps practitioners must build relationships with different teams, so everyone can work together to move the needle. But developing these relationships and getting approvals for FinOps projects can take a long time.

2. FinOps tools are valuable, but they are not one-size-fits-all.

The past year has seen an explosion in FinOps tools. But with so many options, it’s hard to know which ones are right for your organization.

When searching for tools, it’s critical to put your FinOps practice first. Don’t try to fit your practice into what a specific platform can or can’t do. Instead, look for tools that support your existing practice and can grow with you in the future.

And, while tools are valuable, you also need people to help you stand up your FinOps practice. For example, you need someone to evaluate FinOps platforms and implement the ones that best meet your requirements. Your tools will only provide value if you have experts who can customize them, integrate them into your operations, and help you drive ongoing value from them.

3. AI is transforming FinOps.

AI was a trending topic at this year’s conference. Many companies are expanding their AI departments and bringing in third-party tools for forecasting and anomaly alerts. Specialty FinOps tools are also adding AI to their optimization capabilities. For example, some tools can analyze usage patterns over time and make AI-based predictions about future usage. They can also recommend optimization strategies and automatically implement them. .

4. Unit economics is about more than comparing cloud costs to revenue.

Unit economics is the Holy Grail of FinOps. The FinOps Foundation defines cloud unit economics as a system of profit maximization that measures how well your organization performs against its FinOps goals and as a business overall. It measures the marginal costs, or unit cost metrics, tied to the development and delivery of cloud-based software and marginal revenue.

Many think unit economics is just about comparing cloud costs to revenue. But it’s more than this.

You likely have other metrics that drive business value and cost optimization. For example, when an insurance company shortens the time to process a claim, it can boost efficiencies and improve the customer experience.

Discover how unit economics can help you connect business value to cloud spend. Get the new whitepaper.

5. FinOps creates new investment opportunities.

FinOps can drive value across your organizations—even if saving money isn’t your top goal.

When your teams collaborate on FinOps, you can find ways to move funding around to drive more value from it. You can reinvest the cost savings you achieve through FinOps into other areas of your organization.

The sessions and real-world success stories show how FinOps is helping organizations optimize costs, drive value, and create new investment opportunities. Since this year’s event sold out, you may want to plan early if you want to attend next year.

Are your cloud costs out of control? The Cloud Detectives can help you put the clues together so you can crack the case of how to optimize your cloud spend. Get their top FinOps tips here.

You can also schedule a FinOps Diagnostic with SoftwareOne. We’ll assess your FinOps practice, provide actionable steps on how you can mature it, and recommend the best tools for your business needs.

1FinOps Foundation: The State of FinOps 2023

2FinOps Foundation: Measuring Unit Costs

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Solve the Mystery of Connecting Cloud Spend to Business Value

You’ve been given a tough case to crack - how do you keep costs in check when the purchasing rules have been upended? Download the FinOps Case Files to help put the clues together and solve the mystery.

Solve the Mystery of Connecting Cloud Spend to Business Value

You’ve been given a tough case to crack - how do you keep costs in check when the purchasing rules have been upended? Download the FinOps Case Files to help put the clues together and solve the mystery.


A man wearing glasses and a blue shirt.

Dan Ortman
FinOps & Cloud Services Director, SoftwareOne