The Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone
Photo by Christian Lendl / Unsplash

Hi there, I'm going to try to re-prime the pump with a quick thought today about the overall nature of FinOps as a profession, at least as we practice it at my employer. The background is that my teammate just got her CGEIT certification - Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT - and is really flying up the ramp of FinOps effectiveness in the last few months.

I've been thinking for months how crazy familiar I am with the inner workings of my employer now via its cloud bills. The cloud bills, once they're really understood, are a paper trail of everything this company does that costs a fraction of a cents. All our main money makers, the growth of our customer base, our tagging hygiene practices - they're all represented in these vendors' bills. Cost of Goods Sold has become so interesting that I'm looking at publicly traded companies' quarterly statements just for fun now. I'm curious to know just how much one can learn about a company's inner workings by looking at where the money goes.

Moreover, because I'm in the interesting position of having the same workloads deployed on multiple providers, I get a glimpse inside the big cloud vendors as well. The same workloads are represented in 3 different ways, which gives you an incredible look at the internal culture of AWS, Azure, and GCP as well.

AWS - the market leader, inventing so many of these concepts from scratch.

Azure - the market follower, with the good sense to borrow what they could from AWS and to improve it in many ways for that most neglected yet still crucial customer segment, the finance team that pays the bills.

GCP - clearly not afraid to reinvent things their own way. It's resulted in some amazing innovations that don't get nearly enough press in the cloud industry in my opinion, but they were clearly built with no thought for the aforementioned folks who need to understand the billing.

So - I have so much to brain dump on that it's impossible to choose which path to walk down first, but topics marinating in my head:

  • The FinOps FOCUS project, especially how it's used in my day to day work
  • What GCP means when they say "reservations" and how tricky they can be
  • Deriving and allocating cost models inside my employer's containerized infrastructure
  • Where COGS connects to Finance
  • Where COGS connects to Pricing and Product
  • The primer I never had on what COGS even is
  • Oh, the execs are interested in your work now...

And like a hundred more in the last 6 months, but let's see if I can crack those open first. I promise a mix of real world, this-is-how-you-get-shit-done content and not just weighty thought pieces like this one :P Thanks...