Chapter 7. Where Are You?

You begin your FinOps practice by asking questions. That’s what the inform phase is all about. As you find answers to those questions, you can start evaluating the state of your cloud. In this chapter, we’ll look at some of the questions you should start with, and we’ll get an aspirational glimpse of what great looks like across some common capabilities. All of that will help you know where to focus in the optimize phase.

As we’ve stated, FinOps isn’t a linear process. But the visibility of the first phase is essential for equipping you to enter the next phase. You’ll spend the majority of your time in the inform phase. It’s easy to make costly mistakes if you jump to optimize too quickly. As carpenters have reminded us since the craft of building began, “measure twice, cut once.” Measuring informs you so you can make changes, and then you measure those changes against your operational metrics, and so on. In other words, you’ll always circle back around to inform, and check in again.

You need to generate data to get an idea of where you stand. Then you’ll be poised to take actions that will be beneficial to the business.

Data Is Meaningless Without Context

Of course, finding the data isn’t enough. You have to interpret it. Your goal is to educate yourself. You need to start conversations with your colleagues in finance, IT, and the Line of Business (LoB) about what you want to accomplish.

To do this, skilled FinOps practitioners will ask questions that ...

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