The Environmental Imperative – The Role of FinOps

The Environmental Imperative:

The Role of FinOps

The Environmental Imperative – The Role of FinOps

The Environmental Imperative

At SoftwareONE, we see customers of every type and size that are under increasing pressure to improve their environmental performance. More importantly, organizations must prove that they’ve improved. Investors, governments and even banks have detailed environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements for the firms they work with.

Most large companies now have environmental standards – their suppliers must satisfy these or risk losing contracts. But getting this process right can be a double win for business. You can both save money and improve environmental performance.

Scale Delivers Greener and Cheaper

Optimizing cloud use for environmental efficiency is not just window dressing or greenwashing. With IT now one of the world’s largest consumers of electricity – predicted to hit 22% by 2030 – getting this right can have a substantial impact on an organization’s environmental footprint.

The environmental argument of ‘cloud versus on premises’ is over for almost all workloads. Cloud-based hardware is used around the clock – not just when your office is full and your systems are busy – and it has a built-in environmental benefit that is hard to match. Equally, cloud hyperscalers can operate, and cool, their data centers far more efficiently. They use purpose-built buildings, procure greener electricity, deploy the most up-to-date and efficient hardware and ensure better recycling and reuse of end-of-life hardware. The benefits of this are shared by all their customers.

But hardware and hosting are just the start.

What about business-critical applications?

Your applications can be commercially, technically and environmentally optimized too. The usual driver for this sort of optimization is innovation, which improves customer experience and increases revenues. But it also brings environmental benefits.

By making the most efficient use of your cloud infrastructure with the help of FinOps services from SoftwareONE, you can both control costs and improve your environmental performance. We can help you spot idle resources, underutilized storage and excessive backup processes that are all costing you – and the environment – dearly.

Research from the FinOps Foundation found that over half of organizations take days to investigate cost anomalies – which can also come with an environmental impact. Almost 20% of organizations acknowledged they are still working out how to manage such anomalies at all.

FinOps services from SoftwareONE provide greater financial oversight of the business. But they can also help you demonstrate to your board, your customers and your investors that you are meeting your ESG targets as well.

Where Did the Problem Come From?

Too many organizations begin their cloud journey with a straight lift and shift, which removes hardware headaches but does nothing to optimize systems and improve efficiency. This approach makes it difficult to unpack and properly account for environmental impacts of different computing workloads and applications.

Ideally, a measured and strategic approach to migration and modernization brings far broader benefits. This starts with getting a detailed view of exactly what infrastructure and applications you’re running right now. Then you need to think about the business and technical needs for every workload and consider each one under seven different migration strategies.

The first option is retire. Think about this like moving to a new house – while it’s easier to put everything into boxes to take to your new home, some things really should be thrown out instead. Retire also covers workloads that will be shifted to the cloud, but with a definite end date.

The full list:

  • Refactor
  • Replatform
  • Rehost
  • Replace
  • Retain
  • Retire
  • Relicense

At the top is the most difficult migration strategy: refactor. This usually means substantially rebuilding a workload or application so that it runs natively in the cloud. While this is hard work, it also yields the best results in terms of cost, innovation, environmental impact and agility.

Taking workloads through this process ensures they will get maximum benefit from a move to the cloud. But it also helps you to keep or gain full visibility into how workloads are functioning, without adding burdensome management overheads.

The FinOps Foundation has great advice on taking the first steps.

Showing Progress to the Board

On the other hand, you might not need to move to the cloud at all. We help to optimize cloud infrastructures so you can gain better insight and control without the need to switch providers. By making better use of newer compute resources and available promotions, you can cut monthly costs and carbon emissions by up to 50%.

Our services enable your organization to:

  • Track your usage, cost and carbon footprint in real time
  • Use intelligent analysis to understand how your organization uses cloud resources
  • Discover ways to save money and reduce carbon emissions through right-sizing and right-costing
  • Alert decision makers when costs and emissions unexpectedly rise

Ready for the Future

IT departments today feel pressure from many directions to deliver, measure and prove better environmental performance. And that pressure will continue to increase. SoftwareONE can supply the analysis and intelligence you need to make the right data-driven decisions. We can help you to achieve the necessary improvements now and demonstrate the scope of potential benefits in the future too.

FinOps and Sustainability - Speak to an Expert

Check out our free online resources to learn more about cloud financial management or FinOps. You may also want to work with our team to explore how your organization can benefit from cloud financial management and reach your sustainability goals.

Learn More
  • Cloud Spend Management, FinOps
  • Cloud, Cloud Cost Optimization, Cloud Financial Management

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Author

Darryl Sackett

Darryl Sackett

Global Managing Director - FinOps

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