Tracy Woo, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

Have you ever tried to compare the costs of one of your cloud providers to another’s? It’s not easy. Cloud providers and hyperscalers are notorious for making their billing statements difficult to interpret and compare to others. But for the long-suffering CIO, there’s hope in the form of a new working group and standard.

In this episode, Principal Analyst Tracy Woo provides the latest updates on the FinOps Foundation’s work to standardize cloud billing and help IT organizations better manage cloud costs.

The episode starts with a review of the current cloud market and discussion of how various market dynamics have led to the current state of cloud billing practices. The conversation takes a short diversion into the sustainability issues around cloud, specifically the reporting transparency of the major hyperscalers.

From there, Woo dives into the frustration that cloud customers feel today when it comes to reviewing their billing statements. “It’s not like a grocery store receipt [listing items out] line by line,” she says. “It looks like gobbledygook and it’s really hard to read and discern. So you have to rely on cloud cost management tools.” Simple naming conventions are a big pain point. For example, one provider may refer to “tags” while another provider calls the same things “labels,” making it very difficult to compare the billing statements.

From there, the episode moves into a discussion about the definition and benefits of FinOps and the work of the FinOps Foundation in getting the big cloud providers to standardize some of their processes and terms. Woo also provides some details about the FinOps Cost & Usage Specification (FOCUS) that the foundation has developed to help standardize cloud usage and billing data. While some cloud providers were quick to jump on board, others delayed backing the spec, and Woo goes into some of the reasons why.

The episode closes with Woo providing her perspective on whether IT orgs will continue to require cloud cost management tools if this standard continues to expand, so be sure to stick around to catch her take on that important question.

To learn more about this topic, be sure to check out the agenda for our upcoming Technology & Innovation Summit North America. Woo will present a session entitled, “Get Your Cloud Costs Under Control With A FinOps Practice.”