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FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification (FOCUS)

A technical specification to build and maintain an open standard for cloud cost, usage, and billing data, sponsored by the FinOps Foundation and contributors across the FinOps and cloud communities.

The FOCUS Project is now live and seeking members. If you have already reviewed your membership agreement click here for instructions on signing the project’s CLA, or keep reading to see our FAQ.

Sign up to recieve updates on the FOCUS project / Attend FinOps X to see the initial release

What is FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification (FOCUS)?

FOCUS is a Linux Foundation technical project, sponsored by the FinOps Foundation, working to establish an open specification for cloud billing data. The project will define a vendor-neutral, cross-cloud schema and terminology for key cost and usage dimensions and metrics to simplify ingestion and analysis of cost and usage data. Organizations that produce or consume billing data will benefit from the increased trust in billing data due to the clarity provided. 

The specification allows new and existing service providers to natively produce cost and usage data using a well known FinOps-serviceable schema using FinOps terminology. Compatible billing data enables consumers to ingest cost and usage data from cloud providers, (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS offerings and other billing data sources to drive key business value decisions for using cloud.

What does FOCUS aim to solve?

Businesses increasingly need a single view of spend associated with delivering applications and services in the cloud. FOCUS outlines a consistent structure for the presentation of cloud cost data, which will enable companies to expedite cloud adoption. The consistent presentation increases trust in the data and the ability to map costs back to their business.

The efforts of the FinOps Foundation have centered upon enabling best practices for the daily work of practitioners. These efforts have been complicated by underlying complexity and inconsistency in how cloud spend data is presented between providers. FOCUS addresses this problem by creating a common language for cloud spend, which reduces the effort required for organizations to allocate, understand, and show the value of their cloud spending,” said J.R. Storment, FinOps Foundation Executive Director.

By making billing data easier to understand and more consistently reportable between multiple vendors, FOCUS will remove complexity and overhead from processes such as allocation, chargeback, budgeting, forecasting, and the other FinOps capabilities to maximize business value in the cloud.

FOCUS will solve problems that organizations maturing their cloud adoption now face,” said Udam Dewaraja, who recently left Citi as Head of Global Cloud Financial Management. As part of the FinOps Foundation now, he will chair the initial FOCUS working group. “Today, there’s no clear way to unify cost and usage data sets across different vendors. Having previously faced this challenge as a practitioner, I am convinced that a vendor-neutral, open-source specification with a common schema and terminology will drive the FinOps discipline forward in a major way.

Membership in FOCUS

FOCUS is seeking additional members to contribute to the specification and work products. Early FOCUS groups are working on:

  • Specification for a common billing schema and terminology
  • Documenting common FinOps capabilities that can be serviced using FOCUS
  • Validation criteria for dimensions and metrics specified in FOCUS specification
  • Open source libraries for validating billing data sets and conversion of existing vendor data sets

Consider joining FOCUS if you have:

  • Technical or functional knowledge of FinOps capabilities, cloud billing, and common standards
  • You are using or building FinOps data analysis tools or platforms
  • You have time to dedicate to contributing code, data, or expertise
  • Organizational support for being involved in creating this specification

How does Membership in FOCUS work? 

To contribute to FOCUS, your organization must become a FOCUS Member by signing a Membership Agreement, also known as a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). Individuals do not directly join FOCUS unless they are unemployed. Organizations (companies, government entities, non-profits) join FOCUS as members and approve their staff to contribute.

If your company deals with other open source projects using Joint Development Foundation (JDF) or similar specification development projects, they will likely be familiar with this agreement, which must be accepted as is. No markups are possible.

Please check with your Open Source Project Office (OSPO) if you have one, and ask them to review and sign your Membership Agreement as described below. If you need help finding the right contacts inside your organization, please contact us and we can assist with locating the right parties in your organization that have worked with the Linux Foundation in the past.

Individuals may contribute only if the organization that employs them is a Member, or if they are not employed by any organization. Many employed individuals have IP assignment agreements with their employers, which means they need their employer’s authorization to share their work products with a specification like FOCUS. The W3C Patent Policy the FOCUS Project has adopted will ensure contributions to the specification are done on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis. Limiting contribution to organizations who are Members is done to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the potential claims against intellectual property contributed by any person.

This may limit the ability of some individuals to contribute, but we hope that on the whole this will make the work products of FOCUS more reliable and set it up for the greatest possible adoption by limiting the risk for companies that adopt the FOCUS specification.

To have your organization join please do the following:

  1. Click Here to see instructions to sign your Membership Agreement. The membership agreement is managed by a tool called EasyCLA in GitHub. These instructions walk through how to get access to the agreements and how to sign. This is similar to a Docusign process, and the Membership Agreement should be signed by your organization’s OSPO representative.
  2. Your organization may then designate one or more Contributors.

Your organization may join FOCUS as a Steering Member if it is a Premier member of the FinOps Foundation, as a General Member if it is a General member of the FinOps Foundation, or as a Contributing Member with no other restrictions. Steering and General members will have opportunities to be involved with voting and leadership positions in the Project over time as specified in the FOCUS project documentation found in this folder or in GitHub.

How do I contribute to FOCUS?

Anyone can contribute to the FOCUS specification and work products once they have completed signing the Corporate Contributor License Agreement (CCLA) Process. After becoming a member, you will join one or more of the FOCUS Working Groups, also known as FOCUS Groups or FGs. These groups will develop the spec, sample data sets, use cases, reference implementations and other work products. FGs are set up by the FOCUS steering committee. Each FG will have a lead who will work with the members to accomplish the work set out for it.

Connect with us

You can follow and discuss FOCUS with other FinOps practitioners on our Community Slack channel #chat-focus. If you aren’t a part of the FinOps Community yet, please join!

Who can use FOCUS work products? Do I have to be a Member to use them?

The FOCUS specification will be available for licensed use by those who create billing data, by those ingesting or analyzing cost or usage data, or by organizations who wish to standardize the billing data they receive. The specification will be available for no cost via an open source license which will be fully specified after the Project is launched.

You do not have to be a Member of FOCUS to use the specification or any of its work product, though we would encourage you to become a Member to show your support of the Project and to have a hand in its development.

What outputs will FOCUS deliver?

Status updates will be provided via GitHub and in our Community Slack channel #chat-focus.

FOCUS Steering Committee and Chairs

FOCUS Project Members

These organizations have become members of FOCUS and are contributing to its success. Join today

Practitioner/End User Organizations

  • Australian Retirement Trust
  • Domo
  • Walmart

Cloud Service Providers

  • Google Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure

FinOps or Cloud Platform and Tool Vendors

  • CloudMonitor
  • CloudTrakr
  • CloudZero
  • DBGurus
  • Flexera
  • Neos
  • ShiftAvenue
  • Stackwatch
  • Ternary
  • Vega Cloud
  • VMware

Consulting Organizations

  • Accenture

Did FOCUS replace the FinOps Open Billing working group?

Yes. The FOCUS Project will be building on the important work already done by the Open Billing Standards Working Group of the FinOps Foundation. That early phase work has been handed over to the FOCUS Project. 

You can follow and discuss FOCUS with other FinOps practitioners on our Community Slack channel #chat-focus. If you aren’t a part of the FinOps Community yet, please join!

Have questions or want to stay up to date with progress?

Visit our FAQs for more information, sign-up to receive updates on the FOCUS project  and if you are part of the FinOps community you can contact the group via Slack: #chat-focus.