FinOps Foundation Overview: Mission, History & Certifications

What Is the FinOps Foundation?

The FinOps Foundation is a non-profit organization that was established to promote best practices, standards, and education in the emerging field of cloud financial management, also known as FinOps. The Foundation was launched in 2019 as an open community of individuals and companies developing and sharing knowledge related to cloud financial management.

The primary goal of the FinOps Foundation is to help organizations optimize their cloud spending and manage the financial aspects of cloud computing more effectively. This includes developing and promoting best practices for cloud cost optimization, cloud financial governance, and cloud cost management.

The FinOps Foundation offers a range of resources and tools to its members, including educational materials, community forums, and certification programs. The Foundation also hosts events and conferences, bringing together experts and practitioners from across the industry to share their knowledge and experiences.

In this article:

The FinOps Foundation Mission

The mission of the FinOps Foundation is to help organizations achieve better financial outcomes in the cloud by promoting best practices, collaboration, and professional development in the field of cloud financial management. The FinOps Foundation recognizes that cloud computing has revolutionized the way organizations operate, providing unprecedented scalability, flexibility, and agility. However, cloud computing also presents new challenges, particularly in managing costs and optimizing spending.

To achieve its mission, the FinOps Foundation focuses on four key areas:

  • Developing and promoting best practices: The FinOps Foundation provides guidance and resources to help organizations optimize their cloud spending and reduce waste. This includes the FinOps Framework, a set of best practices and principles for cloud financial management, as well as the FinOps Tools Catalog, a comprehensive list of tools and services that can be used to implement FinOps best practices.
  • Fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing: The FinOps Foundation provides a platform for FinOps practitioners, cloud service providers, and other stakeholders to share their experiences and expertise. This includes the annual FinOps Summit, a conference that brings together FinOps practitioners, experts, and vendors.
  • Advancing professional development of FinOps practitioners: The FinOps Foundation offers training, certification, and networking opportunities to help FinOps practitioners develop their skills and advance their careers. This includes the FinOps Certified Practitioner program, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in FinOps best practices.
  • Advocating for the FinOps community: The FinOps Foundation represents the interests of the FinOps community and advocates for the adoption of best practices by cloud service providers and other stakeholders in the industry. This includes working with cloud service providers to develop tools and services that support FinOps best practices, as well as promoting awareness and understanding of FinOps.

The History of the FinOps Foundation

The FinOps Foundation originated from Cloudability’s Customer Advisory Board meetings, where numerous cloud practitioners expressed a need for a community that could discuss best practices beyond vendor tooling. As there were very few people who knew how to implement FinOps in an organization, and no commonly agreed-upon set of published principles existed, the FinOps Foundation was established in February 2019.

In June 2020, the FinOps Foundation merged with the Linux Foundation and closed its previous non-profit entity at the end of 2020. Today, the organization comprises thousands of independent industry experts from a diverse range of companies. It serves an essential role in promoting best practices in cloud financial management and helping organizations optimize their cloud spending.

FinOps Foundation Certifications and Training Programs

The FinOps Foundation offers various certification and training programs that are designed to educate and enable individuals and organizations to develop and implement best practices in cloud financial management. Here are some of the certifications and training programs offered by the FinOps Foundation:

FinOps Certified Practitioner

The FinOps Certified Practitioner course is a flexible-paced program aimed at various business and IT professionals, including cloud architects, budget managers, financial analysts, IT managers, and business consultants. It provides an introduction to the fundamentals of FinOps and is recommended for individuals with prior knowledge of public cloud platforms and pay-per-use pricing models.

The self-guided online program costs $599 and includes the following course materials:

  • Six hours of instruction videos
  • Online textbooks (one-year access)
  • The book Cloud FinOps: Collaborative, Real-Time Cloud Financial Management (digital access for one week)
  • A student exam handbook

There is also an instructor-guided online program that takes two days to complete and costs $1500. The FinOps Certified Professional exam is a multiple-choice test with 50 questions that costs $300. Participants must achieve a grade of 75% to pass and receive the certification with a validity of two years.

FinOps Trained Engineer

The FinOps for Engineers course provides an engineering-focused foundation to help cloud platform engineers collaborate with finance, procurement and FinOps professionals to manage cloud costs. It is primarily intended for system, software, and DevOps engineers, as well as team managers. It does not have any prerequisites, but it is a professional-level program designed for experienced engineering practitioners.

The program costs $299 and includes access to instruction videos, electronic course materials, keynotes, and the book Cloud FinOps (7-day digital access).

FinOps Certified Professional

This advanced course is a hands-on program that combines self-driven and instructor-guided coursework. It takes between 40 and 50 hours to complete, usually over several weeks. Applicants must have a minimum of six months work experience in FinOps and should have completed the FinOps Certified Professional program.

The program costs $3750 and includes flexible self-directed learning modules and two physical classes. To obtain the certification, participants must meet the content and service contribution requirements and pass the final exam with a grade of 75%. The 100-question exam takes two hours to complete.

How Spot by NetApp Works with the FinOps Foundation

Spot by NetApp is a proud Premier Partner in the FinOps Foundation. This membership aligns with our mission to help companies to get the most out of their cloud investments through world-class CloudOps. The FinOps Foundation website features information about Spot’s product portfolio for FinOps.

Ready to chart your path as a FinOps practitioner? Download our FinOps roadmap to take steps toward cost optimization success.