Cloud FinOps: should you outsource or train someone in-house?

Arup CIO Rob Greig's former PA now manages cloud finances for the firm, but Sooraj Shah discovers that firms are taking different approaches to FinOps.

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When Rob Greig arrived at Arup as CIO, he had a personal assistant who had two key responsibilities: one was as an executive assistant and the other was to manage finances in the IT department.

It became clear that taking on both responsibilities was too time-consuming, and so when Arup created a larger global digital technology team as part of a wider shift to cloud computing, his PA shifted into the business administration side to look after the finances in what could be termed a 'FinOps' job – a role which combines finance, operations and cloud computing.

"As we embarked upon our cloud programme, it became abundantly clear that costs were going to run away if we didn't manage them," he says.

Greig said that the company had a choice to outsource the responsibility of managing cloud finances but decided that it was more important to have a team in-house who knew how the business worked.

"It was important for the person to have an intrinsic understanding of how the internal workings of our business work and how our financial procedures and structures work, and they would already understand relationships within the organisation," he says.

This meant his former PA was able to reach into the organisation and contact people and talk to them about their cloud usage because she knew who they were and how the business worked and how it was structured.

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