Unlike many modern tech movements, FinOps is not a single advancement or policy change pioneered by any specific company or organisation; it’s a natural evolution of technology management to account for on-demand cloud resources.
With the rise and proliferation of cloud computing in the new millennium, many companies began to see a shift from standard, traditional pricing to usage-based pricing models. And, while this allowed businesses to take a more cost-effective approach to technology—paying only for the time and resources they used, rather than paying a set rate—it created a crisis for CFOs. After all, it’s next to impossible to predict tool usage with any degree of accuracy, which can make budgeting an exercise in futility.
To address this issue, prevent runaway expenses and promote business profitability, organisations around the world began to develop the concept of financial operations (FinOps). This revolution was guided by respected technology companies around the world, first taking shape as cloud cost management, developing into cloud cost optimisation, and then into cloud financial management.
Finally, taking inspiration from the success of DevOps, FinOps was born, bringing cross-functionality and agility to financial management of cloud technologies.