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Nine in 10 European Businesses Now See FinOps Skills as Instrumental in Cloud Innovation Race

Nine in 10 European businesses now see FinOps skills as instrumental in 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 

LONDON, United Kingdom

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.

But despite these hiring intentions, businesses 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.

Overcoming these hurdles is all the 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 IDC.

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: The Rise of FinOps Skills in the Cloud Innovation Race

Daniel Bolton, Head of Technical Services at Kingston University, said: "These findings are absolutely in line with what we are seeing. While our initial focus was to ensure we kept control of our cloud costs, we are now looking to identify and track the ongoing value that cloud is bringing to our University. Right now, cloud native services are facilitating our ability to innovate and will enable us to exploit new and emerging technologies such as AI and augmented/extended reality. It is these benefits that are supporting business cases for our cloud investments."

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.”

About VMware

VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. As a trusted foundation to accelerate innovation, VMware software gives businesses the flexibility and choice they need to build the future. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to building a better future through the company’s 2030 Agenda. For more information, please visit

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About Research

Between 3 and 7 July 2023, Coleman Parkes surveyed 100 European business leaders, on behalf of VMware, in large organisations from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Netherlands. These large organisations are from the following sectors: retail, manufacturing, professional services, financial services and healthcare.

In addition, VMware conducted secondary research to gather live job listings from major job sites across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain. These listings were then subject to quantitative and qualitative analysis to determine hiring trends, patterns and recurring themes.

More information on the methodology of both forms of research is available upon request.