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What is a CIO?

A CIO, or Chief Information Officer, is a C-Suite executive who is responsible for managing an enterprise’s information technology (IT) strategy and systems. Primary responsibilities include managing the IT budget and resources, including overseeing technology vendors and service providers. 

What are the best FinOps strategies for a CIO?

Below are the top 5 FinOps strategies for a CIO to adopt.  

  1. Unit Economics. Also called cost allocation breakdown, Unit Economics breaks down cloud costs by teams, departments, or projects. By allocating cloud costs to specific areas, CIOs can identify areas where costs are high. Working with other parts of the business, CIOs can empower engineering teams to take action to optimize spending without hampering performance. 
  1. Cloud Center of Excellence. A centralized governance team that establishes and enforces a Cloud Governance Plan. Cloud governance is a set of policies, procedures, and best practices for managing cloud usage. CIOs can implement cloud governance to monitor cloud usage, enforce compliance, and ensure that cloud resources are used efficiently. Governance can also help identify rogue spending, such as the unauthorized use of cloud resources by employees. 
  1. Resource Management Automation. Automating resource management can help CIOs optimize cloud costs by automatically scaling resources up or down based on demand. For example, if there is a spike in usage during certain hours of the day, automated resource management can scale up resources during those times, and then scale them back down when demand decreases. 
  1. Resource Right Sizing. CIOs can right-size resources by selecting the appropriate instance type, storage type, or database instance for their workload. This ensures that the organization is not over-provisioning or under-provisioning resources, which can lead to wasted spending. 
  1. Employee Education. Educating employees on cloud cost optimization can help CIOs reduce cloud spending. By educating employees on best practices for cloud usage, CIOs can help reduce over-provisioning of resources, prevent the creation of unnecessary resources, and minimize rogue spending. 

What FinOps challenges will a CIO encounter?

A CIO requires a complex understanding of their company’s FinOps challenges. It must align strategies and software to manage costs, optimize IT spending, and ensure compliance. 

Challenges that a CIO may face in their day-to-day role include: 

  • Keeping IT costs under control. CIOs need to work with CTOs to implement a cost optimization strategy roadmap to control escalating IT costs. As up to 100% of the company’s IT infrastructure is resident in the cloud, excessive cloud usage can lead to surprise workload scope and cost creep, if not managed properly. 
  • Vendor management roadblocks. To ensure you are getting the most value from new technology and tools, a CIO should closely manage new and ongoing vendor relationships. Renegotiate contracts upon renewal, while trying to navigate a landscape of complex licensing agreements across multiple vendors. Consider tech stack consolidation to rein in costs for software that is not widely adopted/utilized.  
  • Data privacy/security issues. CIOs need to ensure that their organization’s data is secure and comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, etc. Ensuring data privacy and security can be a costly process, and CIOs need to allocate resources effectively to maintain compliance. 
  • Compliance gatekeeping. CIOs need to ensure that their organization is compliant with various regulations, including financial regulations such as SOX, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS.  
  • Budget alignment and consensus. CIOs need to manage the IT budget effectively and ensure that they are allocating resources to the most critical IT project in order to support technology innovation/transformation. This requires a deep understanding of the organization’s business objectives and IT priorities from the CTO point of view.  

What FinOps metrics or KPIs should a CIO report on?

o reduce and/or optimize cloud spending, the CIO should work collaboratively with the CTO to reach consensus on metrics or KPIs to track on an ongoing basis. Some of these metrics may include: 

Cloud spend. This metric measures the total amount of money the organization is spending on cloud services. It helps CIOs track the overall cost of running their cloud infrastructure and provides a baseline for tracking cost optimization efforts. 

  1. Cost per unit. This metric measures the cost of a specific resource (such as storage or compute) per unit of time (such as per hour or per month). It helps CIOs identify the most expensive resources and optimize their usage or switch to cheaper alternatives. 
  1. Cost allocation. This metric measures how cloud costs are allocated to different teams, departments, or projects. It helps CIOs understand who is responsible for which costs and identify areas where cost optimization efforts should be focused. 
  1. Cloud usage. This metric measures how much cloud resources (such as CPU, memory, or storage) are being used. It helps CIOs identify underutilized resources and optimize their usage or decommission them. 
  1. Savings achieved. This metric measures the amount of money saved by implementing cost optimization measures. It helps CIOs track the effectiveness of their FinOps program and demonstrate the value of cloud cost optimization to the organization. 

How does Azul help a CIO become more successful?

Azul Platform Core license fees are typically 70% less expensive than Oracle, enabling companies to re-invest money into research and development, human resources, or other areas of the business. Platform Core is designed for the enterprise, with the certified builds, tight security, and cost efficiencies you need to run today’s business–critical, Java-based services. 

Azul Platform Prime is a truly superior Java platform that can cut infrastructure costs in half. Platform Prime turbocharges the performance and scalability of your Java ecosystem with a hyper-optimized runtime that maximizes performance while driving down infrastructure costs. 

The Azul Platform

Powering the most progressive enterprise Java applications and deployments with the certainty of performance, security, value and success.