Stephanie Gooch

Stephanie Gooch | KPMG

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.


Stephanie Gooch

Stephanie Gooch | KPMG

Stephanie Gooch

I completed a BSc Hons in Mathematics at the University of Surrey where I had the opportunity of an industrial placement at a small management solution company focusing on Oracle’s Hyperion applications. Although I had no previous IT experience I gained new skills which enabled me to successfully passed my Oracle Hyperion Essbase exam and this really sparked my interest in technology. However, I realised that I wanted to have the experience of working in a much larger company and so I applied to KPMG’s Graduate Technology Programme.

Fortunately, I was placed in KPMG’s Tech Solutions, CloudOps team which is one of the most interesting and fast-growing teams. The team build, deploy and manage cloud-hosted environments for both internal and client-facing applications, using both Amazon's Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. I became the first female AWS Associate Architect in KPMG after being with the team for less than a year and passing my examination. I am currently studying for my next Amazon exam which I will take in October.

I continued to learn new skills and develop my expertise in all areas and progressed from assisting on projects to building out production-level environments for a range of clients. Alongside this work I am also working on developing a range of automation tools to assist myself and the team, mainly using Python.

Realising that I wanted to continue to develop my expertise in technology I chose to study for a Masters degree in Information Systems and Technology at City University, London whilst working. I am half way through the two year course and currently working towards a first.