Published on November 16, 2023, 3:58 pm

As more and more enterprises move their operations to the cloud, it has become increasingly challenging for them to keep track of their spending. Each SaaS provider and cloud platform adopts its own reporting methods, making it difficult to get a clear understanding of where the money is going. On top of that, these companies present their data in various formats, further complicating matters. This situation has given rise to a new practice called FinOps, which aims to bring transparency and accountability to cloud spending.

Today, the FinOps Foundation made an exciting announcement regarding its foundational project: the FinOps Open Cost and Usage Specification (FOCUS). This project brings together major players in the industry who would typically be seen as competitors, such as AWS, Microsoft, Google, Oracle Cloud, IBM, Meta, VMware. Additionally, influential cloud users like Walmart and Capital One are joining forces with service providers such as Atlassian, Twilio, Datadog, and Snowflake. The fact that these companies are collaborating shows just how pervasive this issue is within the industry.

The goal of FOCUS is to establish a standardized framework that normalizes cost and usage data across different SaaS and cloud providers. The specification itself includes definitions for commonly used terms and outlines the metrics that should accompany them. By creating this uniform language, FOCUS aims to foster collaboration among major cloud providers, FinOps vendors, leading SaaS providers, and forward-thinking enterprises practicing FinOps. This will ultimately lead to greater trust in billing data and make it easier for businesses to understand the value of their cloud expenditure.

Before reaching its 1.0 release milestone, members involved in this project plan to offer a library of real-world use cases curated by FinOps practitioners from renowned organizations like Capital One. This valuable resource will provide practical examples that illustrate how FOCUS can simplify complex billing processes.

Analyst Lee Sustar from Forrester emphasized earlier this year that FOCUS is gaining traction due to the backing it has received from important cloud users like major banks and retailers. The FinOps Open Cost and Usage Specification represents the culmination of years of effort from frustrated organizations seeking a solution for their vast and convoluted cloud bills.

In summary, as enterprises continue their migration to the cloud, it becomes essential to establish clarity around cost and usage data. The FinOps Foundation’s FOCUS initiative is an instrumental step in addressing this issue by creating a unified framework that standardizes reporting across various cloud providers. With collaboration from industry giants and influential businesses, FOCUS aims to simplify cloud billing processes, increase trust in data accuracy, and enable organizations to fully comprehend the value derived from their cloud investments.


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