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FinOps Domains

Framework Overview / FinOps Domains

The Domains of the FinOps Framework describe the fundamental business outcomes organizations should achieve from the FinOps practice. In other words, practicing FinOps will allow organizations to understand their cloud usage and cost, quantify its business value, optimize both usage and rates paid, and manage an effective practice.

Understand Cloud Usage & Cost

The outcome of this Domain is better understanding of an organization's use of the cloud. Within this Domain, organizations work to gather all the information required to perform FinOps. This includes direct and imputed cloud cost, cloud usage, observability, utilization, and sustainability data, and other datasets required by any FinOps Domain. Activities in this Domain also define the organizational metadata to categorize, allocate and summarize cloud cost and usage, and define the reporting and analytics processes making that data available for use by all FinOps Personas.

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Domain Capabilities

Quantify Business Value

Organizations develop Capabilities in this Domain to connect the usage and cost data with the business value it creates, helping ensure value is transparent and within expectations. Within this Domain, organizations map monetary and non-monetary cloud costs to budgets, use historical information and future plans to forecast, establish and measure technical and organizational KPIs, and perform benchmarking across teams, business units and with other organizations.

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Domain Capabilities

Optimize Cloud Usage & Cost

This Domain focuses on cloud efficiency, ensuring organizations only use the resources when they provide value to the organization; and that resources used are purchased at the lowest acceptable cost and impact to meet the organization’s goals. Organizations will measure efficiency in a variety of ways, including monetary cost, carbon usage, or more traditional IT operational efficiency measures. Capabilities in this Domain allow the organization to manage the types, timing and amounts of cloud resources used, and the rates that are paid for those resources. Capabilities here also address architecture modernization, sustainability considerations for FinOps teams, and the use of licensed and consumption-based SaaS products.

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Domain Capabilities

Manage the FinOps Practice

This Domain enables continuous improvement to change and align the entire organization - its people, processes and technology - to adopt FinOps and use cloud in ways that create value for the company. Capabilities here are centered on effective FinOps operation, enablement of the whole organization, improved interaction with all other personas and business functions to support and represent cloud use more effectively.

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Domain Capabilities

Each Domain describes a set of Capabilities an organization can perform to achieve these outcomes. Organizations should develop the Capabilities that provide them value, according to their needs and their organization’s current FinOps Maturity Level. Some Capabilities aren’t appropriate for some organizations. While every organization won’t invest in every Capability, every organization using cloud and adopting FinOps will perform activities in each of the FinOps Domains.

Domains are not steps in a serial process. Activities in multiple Domains will be pursued in parallel while an organization builds Capabilities for their FinOps practice.

All Domains and Capabilities are interdependent, and together provide an operating model for the FinOps practice that describes all the practices needed for success in organizations across industries, structures, sizes, and maturity levels.

The first three Domains describe the FinOps practices required for successful cloud use. The fourth describes the activities required to make the FinOps practice, itself, successful.

Just as a FinOps practice should follow all of the FinOps Principles, implementing all of these Domains will result in a successful FinOps culture and an increased ability to deliver organizational alignment to your cloud strategy.