Demand for FinOps skills emerges as key trend in the cloud innovation race

  • Organisations under more pressure to deliver return on cloud investments – as FinOps awareness and recruitment soars, and skills to drive innovation become more sought after


    -Middle East reflects trend in Europe, where 85 per cent of organisations are actively looking to recruit FinOps skills




    By : Mostafa Ibrahim




    Businesses across Europe are on the hunt for cloud talent that combines both financial and technical expertise, with 85 per cent actively looking to recruit FinOps skills to deliver greater value from their cloud investments. Yet these skills are proving difficult to obtain.


    According to new research by VMware of senior business leaders in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, 90 per cent say that a combination of cost optimisation skills alongside technical knowledge is now instrumental in driving cloud innovation and providing cloud value. This trend is influencing how organisations are hiring cloud experts, as time to value becomes an economic imperative.


    As many as 88 per cent now agree that IT departments must recruit beyond traditional cloud skills, like DevOps, to include FinOps skills, such as accounting, analytics and economics. The purpose is to better quantify the business case for cloud and accelerate its value across the organisation.


    The Middle East is showing a similar trend, with strong demand for cloud services and multi-cloud adoption giving rise to a heightened awareness among organisational leaders of the need to optimise cloud costs, according to Ihab Farhoud, VMware’s senior director, solution engineering, Middle East, Turkey and North Africa. “In the Middle East we see a clear pattern of organisations looking at business aspects such as cloud capacity planning, cost optimisation, cloud governance, and to do this, they need people with FinOps skills. The trend certainly mirrors the research numbers from Europe, which indicates it’s part of a broader EMEA, and possibly global, trend.”


    But despite these hiring intentions, businesses in Europe are not where they need to be. VMware’s research shows that 64 per cent can’t recruit the skills to control costs and accelerate innovation, and 71 per cent say that an inability to get senior stakeholders to buy into the cloud process is hindering innovation.

    Farhoud notes a similar pattern in the Middle East, where organisations are also struggling to find people with the right FinOps skills. “Getting the right skills is very important, yet there is a cloud skills shortage specifically when it comes to FinOps. There are a lot of people who understand the cloud in terms of platforms, infrastructure, architecture, and DevOps, but FinOps is a role that has been overlooked and there is a shortage of professionals with these skills.”

    Overcoming these hurdles is even more important given a live analysis of cloud job listings across the same six European geographies, conducted by VMware, found that candidate interest in FinOps is soaring. In the UK, France and Netherlands online searches for FinOps-based roles have soared 665 per cent, 296 per cent and 1200 per cent respectively in the last three years. End-user organisations, such as those in manufacturing, financial services and retail, must capitalise upon this interest. Currently, over half of live job postings across these geographies now list FinOps as a skill requirement.



    Now more than ever, the economic crunch means that businesses must show greater financial and operational value in the shortest time from their cloud investments, which are set to top $142bn in Europe this year according to IDC1.


    Commenting on the research, Martin Hosken, Chief Technologist for Cloud EMEA, VMware, said: “Cloud has become the cornerstone for most organisations in how they deliver valuable digital services to customers and employees and optimise their organisations – but the conversation is moving on, efficiency and value for money are key for C-Suites in 2023.


    “Day one costs are understood, but what companies now want to know is where and when they will see the benefits of cloud across their organisation - speed and scale were top considerations in the last ‘cloud first’ decade, but this decade is going to be about adding control with cloud economics, efficiency and sustainability. Value for money will be the key attribute for selecting a cloud partner in 2023 and beyond.


    “It therefore makes sense that skills beyond core cloud competencies are being sought after as IT teams need demonstrate value to their business stakeholders. Having capabilities in analytics, accounting, economics or performance management helps IT to move cloud up the board agenda and present its business case, ultimately accelerating its value and returns.”


    VMware’s research finds that top of the cloud recruitment skills list is the ability to develop and implement strategies to optimise cloud spend, according to 60 per cent of respondents. While nearly one in five say the most sought-after skill is now the ability to produce reports and analysis for a C-suite audience, with 18 percent also indicating it’s the ability to bring a holistic business understanding to cloud processes.


    Gavin Jolliffe, CEO of cloud consulting and managed services provider Xtravirt comments: "We recognise that there is an acute skills shortage in cloud, but as these results show, those who are working in this area need a capability to translate cloud services into cloud value. A similar example across our business is that each specialist must demonstrate customer experience-related skills to effectively communicate success and value to our customers. We want our teams to be able to walk in the shoes of our customers as much as possible.”




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