Career Spotlight: FinOps Analyst Vs FinOps Engineer

FinOps, or Financial Operations, is a strategic function of specialists, tools, and processes to help businesses streamline and optimize cloud spending. The goal of this function is to get maximum business value from their cloud spending by helping engineering, finance, technology, and business teams collaborate on data-driven spending decisions and automating manual processes related to cloud cost management.

FinOps as a discipline continues to grow more and more as companies invest in this function to drive visibility, clarity, and cost savings for the financial organization.

At Stacklet, we provide FinOps teams with the guardrails and insights to optimize cloud spend without hindering developer velocity. As this critical part of organizations grows in popularity, more FinOps roles are opening within the FinOps space. The recruiter in me wondered, “What are these roles, and what is their function within a FinOps organization?” As I researched, I found Cloud FinOps Analyst and Cloud FinOps Engineer are some of the most popular titles in the industry today. Let’s have a look at both. 

Cloud FinOps Analyst

The role of a FinOps Analyst within an organization is to monitor cloud usage and present opportunities for cost savings and healthy cloud usage. This individual will analyze environments and create recommendations based on budget, best practices, timelines, and goals. 

FinOps Analysts collaborate with engineering leaders and members of the finance team to develop and implement cost optimization initiatives, proactively monitoring spending fluctuations, discovering anomalies, and seeking strategies for optimization.

In addition, they need to stay educated on the latest cost optimization strategies and technologies, gather insights and develop new opinions and strategies around cloud optimization, and present solutions to leadership in relevant areas.

It is also the role of the FinOps Analyst to work with a wide range of stakeholders to promote a culture of cost accountability and awareness for proper cloud financial management.

What is required to be a FinOps Analyst?

To be successful in a FinOps Analyst role, having a strong background in finance is critical. Additionally, experience using data to drive business outcomes is also essential. Regarding technical skills, those vary from Excel to SQL to popular business intelligence tools specific to each company. However, analyzing data and communicating findings with others is a consistent requirement. 

FinOps Engineer

Another common FinOps role is a FinOps Engineer or a Cloud Cost Optimization Engineer. A FinOps Engineer’s goal within an organization is to ensure the company gets the most value out of cloud spending. They will work with multiple teams (Platform, Operations, DevSecOps, Security, Application Development, Finance, and Senior Leadership) to maintain and support environments running in the cloud. 

The primary focus of the role is to lead technical optimization resulting in cost optimization for the company. This can be achieved by innovating and improving paths on financial controls and optimization. Since automation is a key aspect of this role, it is no wonder many folks with engineering backgrounds are moving to this field. Contributing to the overall mentality of efficient cloud usage/spending is an important part of the job, as is streamlining real-time financial reporting with effective tools.

What is Required to be a FinOps Engineer?

FinOps Engineers need to have hands-on cloud experience and understanding of cloud architecture, a deep knowledge of Cloud Cost Management and FinOps principles, and the ability to speak with both technical and non-technical members regarding cost-effective cloud solutions. DevOps or engineering background is also a key advantage for this role. 

Next in FinOps Roles

As organizations increase their spending in the cloud, FinOps as a discipline and profession will continue to grow and mature. As this function continues to grow, more roles within it will follow. There are titles like “FinOps Director” and “FinOps Product Owner.” opening up across multiple industries. Let me know what other roles you have seen emerging in this field.