Many new roles have appeared: they are called FinOps engineers, FinOps experts or FinOps consultants. After these designations there may be different requirements depending on the employer’s activity, his organization and his needs.
The FinOps approach refers to a set of practices for managing operational expenses in the field of cloud computing. Just as the term DevOps emphasizes collaboration between development and IT operations teams, FinOps suggests collaboration between financial IT engineering and operations teams.
FinOps practices have been defined by the FinOps Foundation, a program of the Linux Foundation.
They should help teams ensure financial accountability within an organization. Using the economic incentives offered by cloud providers, along with financial management strategies and technical optimization, the goal is to achieve a cost-effective cloud implementation. While ROI and cost effectiveness are top priorities for organizations, in practice FinOps must enable organizations to make intelligent trade-offs between cloud cost and performance.
For IT professionals who want to learn more about the FinOps approach or demonstrate their expertise in this area, there are certifications and training programs. Since the approach requires a team, or at least some form of collaboration, they put themselves in different roles. Some certifications must validate the knowledge of FinOps practices to a person already familiar with these practices. Other training courses are aimed at financial, technical or executive profiles.
Some of them come directly from the FinOps Foundation. Others, such as AWS and Coursera, focus their programs on managing and optimizing cloud costs more generally. While some of these courses do not explicitly mention the term FinOps in their title, the concepts they cover can be lent to the practices defined by the Linux Foundation curriculum.
FinOps Foundation training and certifications
The FinOps Foundation offers several options for certifications and training programs.
Certified FinOps Practitioner
This self-paced course is suitable for a wide range of IT and business roles, including cloud budget managers, cloud architects, FinOps analysts, IT program and portfolio managers, and IT consultants. financial affairs. The course presents the fundamental principles, the key concepts of the FinOps approach, the way a team should organize and interact, the steps of a process to identify spending poles and optimize costs. There are also modules dedicated to tracking costs and understanding cloud invoices. Recommended prerequisites include knowledge of cloud computing basics, at least one public cloud platform, and pay-as-you-go consumption models.
The course available for a price of $599 gives access to the following:
- six hours of video recordings divided into 13 instructor-led modules;
- access to online course materials for one year
- speaker notes and takeaways from instructor presentations;
- seven-day access to a digital copy of Cloud FinOps: Collaborative, Real-Time Cloud Financial Management, a book published by O’Reilly Media;
- a manual for studying the exam; and
- the FinOps Certified Practitioner exam.
There is also a two-day remote course for a FinOps Certified Practitioner delivered live by an instructor. The FinOps Foundation offers this course, which costs $1,500, on specific dates.
The FinOps Certified Practitioner exam costs $300. It lasts one hour and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. A mark of 75% is required to pass, and the certification is valid for two years.
The Linux Foundation also offers bundled options for the FinOps Certified Practitioner exam. For $599, individuals have access to the online course and exam. For $1,500, individuals attend an instructor-led course and can then take the exam.
FinOps for engineers
This foundational course trains engineers to work with FinOps, finance and procurement teams to effectively manage cloud usage and costs. It is primarily aimed at software and systems engineers, as well as DevOps engineers and administrators. Although there are no prerequisites, this is a practitioner-level course that explores the FinOps approach from the perspective of engineering teams. The $299 course gives you access to the following:
- 10 instructor-led video modules;
- access to online course materials for one year
- speaker notes and takeaways from instructor presentations; and
- Seven-day access to a digital copy of Cloud FinOps.
Certified FinOps Professional
This hands-on course is the FinOps Foundation’s most advanced training option. It is a mixture of face-to-face, instructor-led and self-paced learning, requiring approximately 40-50 hours of work over a period of a few weeks. It contains 36 modules divided essentially into two main groups: ingestion, processing and visualization of cost data, and possible technical and financial optimizations. Prerequisites include at least six months of work experience in the FinOps field and a Certified FinOps Practitioner certificate. The course costs $3,750.
To meet the requirements for this certification, you will need to do the following:
- attend two sessions in person;
- complete the modules to follow at your own pace
- take the FinOps Professional exam; and
- respond to service and content contribution requirements.
The two-hour FinOps Certified Professional exam consists of 100 questions. A mark of at least 75% is required to pass.
Amazon Web Services
An AWS (Amazon Web Services) certification shows that the recipient has specific AWS knowledge, skills, and abilities. The AWS Cloud Financial Management for Builders course is specifically for people who want to more effectively manage and optimize their cloud-related AWS costs. It is intended for developers, system administrators and architects. An Architecting on AWS certificate is recommended for this course.
This intermediate level course covers the following points:
- best practices for reducing AWS costs;
- AWS tools to manage and optimize spending on the cloud platform;
- ways to estimate and regulate current and future cloud workloads; and
- architectural best practices, among other skills.
There are virtual and in-person options in various locations and languages. The three-day course costs $2,025.
Cloud Academy is an online training platform that offers certificates on a variety of topics, from cloud computing fundamentals to business management. Subscriptions include access to the content library, hands-on labs, and exam preparation. They cost $39 per month, or $399 per year.
The Cloud Academy offers a course called “Cloud Cost Optimization”, focusing on financial management in the cloud. Participants will learn to do the following:
- analyze and allocate cloud expenses;
- use certain services and tools to reduce your cost of ownership in the cloud;
- adopt a consumption-based cost model; and
- measure cost effectiveness.
The course lasts an average of 11 hours, divided into 17 modules that include practical laboratories, lectures, webinars and an exam. The free exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions and lasts 45 minutes. You need to get at least 60% to pass.
In addition, Cloud Academy offers many other courses, exams and resources on its platform.
AWS offers a course called Cloud Cost Management: Optimization Strategies through Coursera, another online training platform. This course explains how to get started optimizing AWS cost and capacity. Spread over three weeks, this six-hour beginner-level online course offers flexible deadlines and a certificate upon completion. The aim is to develop skills in financial management, cloud computing and cost management. Topics covered include AWS pricing basics, VM sizing, and using the AWS Billing Console to analyze spend. You can register for free, but the certificate costs $49.
FinOps training offers in France
In France, several training organizations provide courses aimed at FinOps training. Orsys, the Capgemini Institute, the OCTO Technology Academy, M2i Training, PLB Consultant, or the SFEIR Institute are some of these. Some, including those from the OCTO Academy, the Capgemini Institute and SFEIR, aim to present the basics of FinOps in one day.
They are offered respectively at 1,040 euros without taxes, 1,055 euros without taxes, and 700 euros without taxes. Those of Orsys focused on the FinOps practice for Azure and the last two days. It costs 1,830 euros without taxes. The training offered by PLB Consultant focuses on AWS, costs 1,490 euros and is also spread over two days. Formazione M2i offers two courses, one dedicated to the basics, the other to advanced practices. Both cost 1,500 euros without VAT for two days of lessons.
Other FinOps training resources
From practice tests to study guides, there are many ways to complete FinOps training and prepare for a certification exam.
For $25, online course provider Udemy offers two practice tests for the FinOps Certified Practitioner exam. Each practice test has 50 questions.
The book mentioned above – Cloud FinOps: Collaborative, Real-Time Cloud Financial Management by JR Storment and Mike Fuller – is an additional study resource. This book uses real-world examples to help readers familiarize themselves with cloud costs and financial management, two concepts you need to understand to earn FinOps certification.