What is FinOps?

Jason Y. Liu
2 min readJul 14, 2021

Cloud costs are increasingly making up a huge amount of a company’s costs, especially for software SaaS firms who were born in the cloud.

Data from a16z (Andreessen Horowitz)

Though this is not to say cloud is not the way to go. It still makes so much sense for most of the companies especially these SaaS firms, as many have commented.

To me, it highlights the importance of management, specifically cloud cost management, balance it with the need for innovation and developments.

FinOps is the name the industry professionals have settled on in this line of work. Some call it “Cloud Financial Operations” or “Cloud Financial Management” or “Cloud Cost Management”.

Here are some of the practitioners’ definitions of what is FinOps.

Cloud fin ops will enable us to drive business value and innovation for our products, and financial accountability through increased visibility and transparency as we better understand unit economics. This will help us balance speed, cost and quality, helping us make smart business decisions. Cloud fin ops will also bring the business together in the best interest of the business working towards common goals and building a common culture.

FinOps is about bringing maximized business value to customers and the company.

There are many benefits that comes with migrating to the cloud with proper oversight that also means many pitfalls as well. A fin ops practice will provide our consumers with real-time actionable data to ensure we are getting the most out of every dollar spend while also providing accurate forecasting and alerting for anomalous spend.

Transparency across different teams, so business, finance, and technical teams are all on the same page to provide value back to organization.

Forecast, and work within budget

balancing innovation, reliability, performance and cost

CFM = cost reporting, charge back, cost optimization, budgeting, forecasting

As companies continue to adopt, improve and operate in the cloud, going pass the crawl, walk, run phases (Lifecycle Framework), FinOps will get more mature and streamlined. Watch this space!