State of FinOps Survey 2022: Built by and for the FinOps Community

The FinOps Foundation team is beyond excited to launch the 2022 State of FinOps Survey. Yes, there are plenty of self-published industry reports out there, but what makes this one different is that it’s built by and for the FinOps community.

Why do we create the State of FinOps each year?

FinOps, the operating model for cloud finance management, is a fundamental practice for organizations leveraging the cloud to align those costs with business value and outcomes. The FinOps Foundation community represents a broad spectrum of practitioners, including many leaders and forerunners in the space. Annual surveys help gather a snapshot of the current activities and perspectives across the community to deepen the understanding and surface trends. 

The results of each State of FinOps Survey become a report that delivers insights and benchmarks that helps us inform the roadmap of how the Foundation can improve the educational materials to advance practitioners and their practices. The more we understand how our community and practitioners are growing, maturing their practices, and the challenges they are struggling with, the richer the community projects can support everyone.

Evolving from the previous year

The first State of FinOps Survey and Report was released in 2021, creating a report template, data visualization style, and a first test at how our information and insights would help the community. We found success in gaining constructive analyst, press, and community feedback. 

In our first year:

  • We created the industry’s first community-focused and led survey and report on the FinOps discipline
  • Community members held us accountable for achieving key outcomes that we promised would be built from the report’s insights
  • We strengthened our FinOps Framework by adding user-generated projects and stories by practitioners of various skill levels and from all types of organizations across the world

For the 2022 report, we focused on ways to incorporate even more practitioner and leadership feedback from the beginning. We also made a significant investment into the academic and data integrity of the report.

As FinOps practitioners and leaders worldwide look to this resource as a means of guiding and building their practices, we needed to ensure that the body of work contained a blend of academic merit and data-driven depth.

Doubling down on community and practitioner involvement

We created several working groups of staff and FinOps practitioners to help us build a better survey and report for 2022. These groups looked at the 2021 report and gave us constructive feedback to help us create a better asset and resource for the community.

“By refining the survey for 2022 on community feedback, it can be used for multiple areas and projects by the community in the coming year – it will be exciting to understand all the different perspectives in the FinOps category.” Joe Daly, Director of Community, FinOps Foundation

Leveraging Linux Foundation’s research team

A majority of the FinOps Foundation staff have FinOps experience, but we were honest with ourselves about needing more data analysis help with this year’s survey and report. Fortunately, we were able to utilize the expertise of the Linux Foundation’s newly established Research Team.

The team was with us from the outset, where they integrated with FinOps experts so that they could understand more about our community-centric approach.

“Designing the State of FinOps 2022 survey was a truly collaborative effort. It was clear from the beginning that establishing a Working Group to aid in the survey instrument’s design was necessary to generate the kind of data that would add value across the FinOps ecosystem.” Stephen Hendrick, VP Research

With LF Research’s help and support, we also decided to translate the 2022 survey to engage FinOps practitioners in French-speaking regions, who represent a significant demographic of our community. LF Research helped to achieve the French language translation as a new element in this year’s research effort to make the survey more accessible and inclusive.

We are very thankful for their guidance in structuring our survey and look forward to their expertise once we start analyzing results and building the 2022 report.

Building a long-lasting resource for our community

We learned a lot of lessons from the 2021 survey and report. One of the biggest lessons was an internal one in that this survey collects such a variety of information and data. It informed us that we could go one of two ways with this research tool: keep building one-off reports, or do the work and build something long-term for the community.

Our community leaders advised us that we needed to focus more on generating annual benchmarking and insights based on key practices. They also helped us iron out the method and approach to our questions to align more with the framework to get the best data possible from the survey.

Our goal is to have something more than another data report to add to the Internet. We want to create a valuable tool for FinOps practitioners and partners to improve their practice. We want this tool to be informed and built by the community, for the community.

Ideal outcomes from the 2022 survey

With the survey into its first weeks of collecting data, we’re very interested in measuring and understanding the following:

  • Are practitioners maturing their FinOps practices? What FinOps “maturity level” do they self-identify as?
  • What phase in the FinOps lifecycle are practitioners operating for specific capabilities, how did they get there, and what are they planning to do next?
  • What are the benchmarks practitioners use for FinOps capabilities?
  • How do practitioners measure their success when implementing their FinOps capabilities?

We’re looking forward to seeing how the results inform our hypotheses and questions.

Building upon this report with open source standards

When done right, it turns out you can use open source software standards to encourage contribution and community even with a topic like cloud financial management. We’re very proud to find a way to work closely with our community while championing Linux Foundation open source principles.

Do you know someone who qualifies in taking the State of FinOps Survey? If so, feel free to share it with them. The survey is open, and we look forward to learning more about the FinOps community and industry to help strengthen it.

Posted by Linux Admin