Last week, members of the FinOps community flocked to the FinOps X ’24 conference in San Diego, California. At the conference, the FinOps Foundation revealed that the community is now 22,000 members strong! As a Premier Member of the FinOps Foundation, Ternary was a proud Gold sponsor and keynote streaming sponsor of the conference.  

FinOps X ’24 was jam-packed with announcements, great content, and networking opportunities. Read on to learn 3 takeaways from FinOps X ’24.

Ternary’s team of FinOps experts at FinOps X ’24.

1. There are no runners

New this year was the theme “There are no runners.” This idea adds a new perspective on “Crawl, Walk, Run,” the three phases of FinOps maturity. FinOps teams and organizations can be at varying stages of maturity across each of the 27 FinOps capabilities, as defined in the FinOps Framework. This theme and message that no company can claim to occupy the run stage prompted lively discussion among practitioners, as some of them do believe they are “running” within certain areas of their FinOps practice.

J.R. Storment, Executive Director of the FinOps Foundation, addressed this theme during the conference’s Day 1 Keynote. He remarked that no company’s FinOps practice can exist solely in a “run” state, although individual capabilities can. The theme “There are no runners” conveys the importance of a “We’re not done yet” mentality, emphasizing continuous improvement. Given the emergence of GenAI, increased interest in sustainability, etc., your organization’s priorities may be constantly changing. There is always room for progress.

3 takeaways from FinOps X '24: There are no runners.
Source: FinOps Foundation Insights: There Are No Runners by FinOps Foundation.

2. Understand the “iron triangle” of FinOps

Dovetailing nicely with “There are no runners” was the introduction of the “iron triangle” for FinOps: AI, carbon, and cost. Specifically, organizations must balance the tradeoffs of adopting AI, measuring carbon impact, and controlling costs. Experimentation with AI (especially GenAI) continues to grow. During the cloud panel within the Day 1 Keynote, James Greenfield, Vice President, AWS Commerce Platform, went so far as to say that “everyone should be interested in AI in FinOps for job security.” Yet the current impact of AI on an organization’s cloud spend remains unclear. This will be an area to watch in the future. 

There is also a trend among organizations (particularly in Europe) toward incorporating sustainability into their FinOps practice. Earlier this year, the FinOps Foundation added cloud sustainability as a FinOps Framework capability. This inclusion highlights the link between environmental efficiency and financial efficiency, through optimization practices (e.g., rightsizing). Moving forward, organizations worldwide will be tested as they balance the priorities of the iron triangle, shifting FinOps left.

3 takeaways from FinOps X '24: the iron triangle of FinOps

3. Build vs. buy? Why not both?

A common topic for debate among the FinOps community is whether or not to build a FinOps solution in-house or buy a third-party FinOps platform. Each year at FinOps X, there are breakout sessions highlighting organizations that have successfully built their own FinOps solution. 

This year, Ternary sponsored a breakout session titled: “Build vs. buy? Why not both? The Linux Foundation story.” From our experience, there are many considerations before pursuing a build your own approach. These considerations include resources, scalability, complexity, etc. Unless building infrastructure is your core competency, it may be wise to instead invest in a FinOps platform that can meet 75%–90% of your business needs. From there, you can leverage APIs and out-of-the-box integrations to connect the platform to your business systems and tools. (Read more about choosing the right FinOps platform in our Ultimate FinOps Buyers Guide.)

For the first time in FinOps X history, build vs. buy took center stage during the Day 2 Keynote. Mike Fuller, Chief Technology Officer at the FinOps Foundation, emphasized the importance of understanding the time to value as it pertains to building your own solutions.

3 takeaways from FinOps X '24: build vs. buy considerations

Ready to learn more?

Purpose-built for FinOps, Ternary empowers organizations to establish cloud cost transparency, improve cost and usage efficiency, and foster communication between teams. The practice of FinOps goes beyond technology, centering on collaboration and community. That’s what FinOps X is all about.

FinOps X’s tagline is “Welcome home.” At each year’s conference, it truly does feel like everyone is going home to see their FinOps friends and family. I’ve had the pleasure of attending FinOps X for the past three years. It has been amazing to witness the evolution of the conference and the continued growth of the FinOps community. I’d love to hear your thoughts on our takeaways from FinOps X ’24, so feel free to contact us. If you’re interested in learning more about Ternary, you can register for our upcoming webinar on Tuesday, July 9, at 10am PT | 1pm ET.