Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s likely you’re aware that Taylor Swift’s reach has stretched beyond our ears, to our hearts, wallets, and social media feeds. The wildly successful “Eras Tour” is expected to generate nearly $4.6B in consumer spending according to Forbes. The “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” movie recently premiered and is expected to bring in box office revenues over $100M on opening weekend. Her recent social media post encouraging national voter registration resulted in a 1,126% jump in participation in the hour after her post. Even the NFL is not immune, with a rumored relationship with a football player driving Swifities to embrace all things NFL.  

Frustratingly, an area that has yet to be graced by the impact of Taylor Swift is FinOps, the financial operations discipline that combines cloud-native technologies with best financial practices. To bridge this surely temporary gap, I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting valuable lessons that Taylor's career could offer the FinOps world.  

In honor of her 10 studio albums, here are 10 highlights worth consideration:

1. Adaptability 

Throughout her career, Swift has adeptly navigated transitions from country to pop, and even indie. In the FinOps realm, adaptability is equally crucial. Cloud technology and the associated commercial models are continuously evolving. Staying agile and keeping an eye out for such changes ensures that cloud financial operations remain efficient and compliant and relevant.

2. Ownership and control

Swift’s lyric, “Cause darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” from “Blank Space” reflects her fierce fight for ownership rights, but no lyric may be more on point describing cloud costs. In the same vein, FinOps emphasizes the importance of ownership. Knowing what cloud resources and services you're using, their nuances, how much they cost, and who is responsible for them is crucial to maintaining tight financial control on the cloud.

3. Reputation and branding

Swift’s album Reputation reminds us of the importance of perception. Similarly, a FinOps team should be empowered to drive change and be visible across the organization to be effective. FinOps teams should have the mandate to bring technology, finance and business teams together in order to drive effective financial operations on the cloud. Striking the right balance between authority and collaboration builds trust and goodwill amongst the stakeholders, drives transparency in financial practices as well results and outcomes. 

4. Continuous learning and self-improvement

The tech and financial landscape is continuously evolving. A culture of continuous education, certifications, collaboration and staying up-to-date on industry best practices are the foundations of a strong FinOps team that can keep you ahead of the curve. Swift, in her song “Begin Again”, reflects on new beginnings and lessons learned. For FinOps, the echoes of past experiences should guide future actions, ensuring you're always in tune with the latest. Remember, FinOps is a continuous journey (and the fun never stops!). 

5. Collaboration

Swift frequently collaborates with other artists to create chart-topping hits. In FinOps, collaboration between IT, finance, and business units is crucial. Effective collaboration ensures that resources are allocated optimally, costs are controlled, and the organization's financial goals are met—without generating “Bad Blood.”

6. Forecasting and planning 

Swift and her team have been immensely successful in anticipating market trends and strategizing effectively to cater to fans through their album releases. FinOps professionals must be proactive and forward-looking and must endeavor to understand drivers of cloud spend—whether it is M&A activities, new business or products lines. All of these involve accurate forecasting of cloud expenditure, understanding cost trends, and budgeting accordingly. 

7. Feedback and iteration 

Swift is known for connecting with her fans, proactively gathering feedback, and sometimes even weaving their stories into her songs. Similarly, a FinOps team should encourage feedback loops, regularly reviewing processes, and refining them based on internal and external feedback.

8. Technological innovation 

Swift's concerts and music videos often incorporate the latest tech. In FinOps, embracing new technologies, be it advanced analytics, automation tools, or AI-driven cost optimization solutions, can lead to more efficient operations. Recent trends in FinOps have shifted from high level visibility to deep point solutions like Unravel, ProsperOps, and Vantage

9. Diversification 

Swift doesn’t put all her eggs in one basket. She has ventured into acting, real estate, brand endorsements, and even political activism. Diversification is a lesson for FinOps teams to not rely too heavily on one cloud provider or solution but to have a diversified strategy across multiple cloud providers to mitigate risks.

10. Value-centric 

As Swift proclaims in “Delicate,” “My reputation's never been worse, so you must like me for me…” It can be challenging to introduce new cost priorities to engineering teams that have been focused on hyper growth, reliability, and performance. FinOps teams should similarly stand tall, ensuring that every number that is crunched and every decision made echoes the company's core values. 

While Taylor Swift's world of music and celebrity stardom might seem far more exciting than the domain of FinOps, her career decisions, strategies, and values indeed offer unexpected insights. So, if you are either kick-starting your FinOps journey or if your FinOps strategy needs a bit of a reset, you know who to tune in to!