Stephanie Gooch

I have worked at KPMG for almost 4 years having started out on the technology delivery graduate scheme.

However, I was lucky to be promoted early due to my high performance in the work I was doing at KPMG. I have had the opportunity to work within several different areas in the Cloud Operations team. Primarily I have been working in Internal Project Development and, as part of this role, have the responsibility for managing lower grades. I then moved into Consulting for Cloud which gave me the chance to work with a large insurance company to help migrate their application to the Cloud. This work consisted of several areas of building work using technologies such as Amazon Web Services, Terraform and Python and the use of these applications has been invaluable to me.

At the start of this year I commenced a new role in KPMG’s Solutions and Digital Infrastructure department, which is part of the Enablement team. Initially, my role was not clearly defined however, I have developed a real fascination with cost optimisation in the Cloud and have developed this area and have begun to manage our Financial Operations, or ‘FinOps’, work within KPMG.
My initial interest in this area stemmed from my dissertation for my Masters degree which was based on research into cost-optimisation in Cloud storage. I completed my Masters in Systems and Information Technology earlier this year; working on it part-time whilst working at KPMG. I was the only person to get a Distinction in my course and this won me an individual achievement award within my programme. The focus of my dissertation was on cost visualisation and optimisation in the Cloud and I was instantly able to see the wealth of possibilities and applications for both KPMG and their customers.

From this original piece of work, I have developed in-house cost visualisation, cost optimisation and cost saving tools. These have also been designed to work with multiple clouds which added an extra layer of complexity. I provided reports, analysis and cost saving recommendations to the rest of the staff in the Cloud-based Infrastructure team. This is a huge growth area and currently I am analysing data from different sources in relation to different projects over an estate of more than 400 AWS Accounts, 240+ Azure Subscriptions and 30 GCP Projects.

Identifying a new ‘gap’ in the industry led me to start my own blog called the ‘Road to FinOps’ where I share my knowledge on cost optimisation to help others in the sector to reduce the costs incurred through Cloud storage.

I have also been developing our Infrastructure Commercial Model for the Enablement team in Solutions and Digital at KPMG in order to create a unified commercial model for infrastructure that:
o Helps our clients better understand the value they get from what we do (i.e. customer centric, simple and transparent)
o Recovers all our Infrastructure costs and gives us a more accurate view of utilisation across Infrastructure
o Aligns with Solutions & Digital commercial approach and MI requirements

This work involves engaging with managers, developers and finance teams to bring them together, and the technologies we use, in order to bill our clients fairly and efficiently.

Following this work, I have joined the FinOps Foundation and become a Chartered Member and have agreed to talk at their conference in San Francisco in September this year. For this I will be presenting my experiences in the industry, so far, with FinOps. I will be delivering to other leaders in the industry about the work In FinOps I have been doing. This is mostly around automation and development of my tool but it also involved dealing with different parts of the company such as Finance, Managers, Developers to bring about a culture change.

Alongside my core responsibilities, I also have the responsibility for managing our ‘New Joiner’ programme sprints for technical development. My role is to provide guidance on joining the Infrastructure team, teaching new joiners the skills they need to enable them to complete their work and develop their skills still further whilst also being a mentor for young women joining the industry.