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Intersecting Disciplines

Framework / Domains / Manage the FinOps Practice / Intersecting Disciplines

Coordinating activities with interconnected disciplines or Allied Personas (such as, ITAM, ITFM, Sustainability, Security) which manage responsibilities broader than just cloud, and which must integrate into the organizational cloud strategy by collaborating with FinOps.

Collaborate with appropriate Allied Personas

  • Understand organizational goals
  • Align goals and objectives across intersecting disciplines
  • Identify cloud-specific metrics to support organizational goals
  • Define team responsibilities, enablement, and interaction, including shared objectives across teams

Information and Data Coordination

  • Define intersecting and shared data, resources, and terminology
  • Establish key metadata, data access, data resolution, exchange format, and data refresh cadence
  • Define common decision making workflows, communication channels and cross-team notifications


This capability supports interactions between FinOps and other IT disciplines, frameworks, or teams in an organization. Widespread use of public cloud creates new challenges for traditional IT disciplines, most of which have a broader responsibility than just cloud use. The intention for this capability is to provide a place to capture FinOps’ interactions with these existing IT functions when they are in use by the organization.

These Financial Standards could include:

  • IT Financial Management (ITFM)
  • Technology Business Management (TBM)
  • IT Asset Management (ITAM)
  • Software Asset Management (SAM)
  • IT Service Management (ITSM)
  • IT Security
  • Any other standard being used in your organization that may be impacted by Cloud Consumption.

The exact impact of cloud on other financial standards within your organization will vary based on the scope of the standard. This is why the central FinOps Team and partner teams need to embrace the FinOps Principle of Teams need to collaborate. These partner teams are all Allied Personas in the FinOps Framework to underscore the need for collaboration across intersecting partner teams.

Maturity Assessment

Organizations operating at a FinOps Run maturity are in cohorts that have unified processes between existing adjacent frameworks like ITSM, ITFM, PMO and ITAM and their FinOps practices. FinOps Practitioners that work independently or have limited collaboration with personas working with other frameworks are more likely to be part of organizations operating at a FinOps Walk maturity.


Maturity Assessment


  • FinOps Practitioners and Allied Persona teams all both own individual understanding of what assets / resources are in which location (Cloud vs. On Premise) and how they are being used, including:
    • How they are licensed (for ITAM) (PaaS / marketplace vs IaaS plus BYOL)
    • Which IT / business services the resource / asset supports
    • Whether there are any associated contracts (i.e. software support and maintenance)
    • Mapping of resources across location and aligning to business needs
  • Education of one or more disciplines takes place regarding intersections with FinOps and how each can assist the other in the achieving optimization of investment in IT assets (cloud or use of on-premises licenses).
  • Allied Persona team(s) have their individual understanding of how CSP resources are being paid for and consumed. They possess in-depth knowledge of their respective frameworks, information sources, goals, and experiences. They can analyze and assess relevant information to determine outcomes specific to their disciplines.
  • Education takes place to enhance the understanding of the intersections between FinOps and other frameworks and how they can assist each other in optimizing the business value of CSP investment.


  • Multiple Allied Persona teams have a shared understanding of what assets / resources are in which cloud and regularly reconcile them to provide a single pane of glass for the organization.
  • Allied Personas are consulted for a business case evaluation. For example, using BYOL is a common input to optimization strategy, architecture decisions and modernization activities but may impact existing contractual commitments to the software publishers.
  • There is a shared understanding of each other’s taxonomy.
  • FinOps teams have partnered with Allied Persona teams to achieve a shared understanding of CSP consumption costs. They regularly reconcile these costs to provide a comprehensive view of the organization, creating a single pane of glass approach. There is also a shared understanding of each other’s respective framework, allowing for effective communication and analysis.


  • There is a common taxonomy for the management of costs that is used across all assets and cloud resources to enable the organization to build an understanding of the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) of IT and business services.
  • FinOps and Allied Personas are closely aligned and work together to ensure an optimized IT asset landscape. Tracking of migrated workloads shows savings in IT hardware, infrastructure and licensing costs.
  • Existing license agreements are used across disciplines to ensure the best strategy for the workload.
  • Savings resulting from use of hybrid use rights/existing agreements, or refactoring existing applications to leverage cloud-native technologies instead of traditional licenses, are tracked and reported.
  • Operational tools and processes are scaled to support agility between the two functions.
  • A common toolset including software applications and methodologies is used to enable either some or all FinOps & Allied Persona team processes. Recurring actions are performed consistently in a standardized manner by all involved teams.

Functional Activities

FinOps Practitioner

As someone in the FinOps team role, I will…

  • Establish and maintain clear lines of communication and coordination with other functions within the organization
  • Understand how organizational cloud spending aligns with other taxonomies and overall technology Total Cost of ownership and make sure allied teams have access to the data, embracing the FinOps Principle that: Reports need to be Timely and Accessible
  • Align tools, reports, and data sources between FinOps and other frameworks for reliability and user-friendliness so stakeholders get harmonious and dependable information from both functions
  • Determine which cloud services are billed with items that may impact other contracts (e.g. software licenses), including bundled with a service or purchased from a cloud provider marketplace, making this information and costs available to allied teams to manage
  • Determine which cloud services have been configured as BYOL, making this information available to allied team to manage
  • Determine which cloud services are eligible for BYOL to leverage unallocated licenses from the allied team
  • Provide allied team with service usage metrics so they can determine which cloud services need further inspection
  • Partner with allied teams to track costs and realized savings for shared optimization opportunities such as BYOL licenses


As someone in a Product role, I will…

  • Use the information from the FinOps teams and Allied Personas to determine the optimal design and architecture to build business solutions
  • Include license and IT asset costs (including stranded license costs) in calculating product profitability and other metrics
  • Use information from the FinOps teams and Allied Personas to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) of my cloud investment decisions
  • Enable IT financial governance and policy on cloud consumption within my business unit
  • Review and validate FinOps and Allied Personas cost reports


As someone in a Finance role, I will…

  • Leverage information from Allied Personas for budget planning and forecasting
  • Understand how FinOps & Allied Personas enhance IT spend transparency and utilize their insights across the organization
  • Determine how to identify cloud costs within the accounting system of record and systematically share relevant cloud costs with those who require them
  • Collaborate with FinOps practitioners and Allied Personas to establish IT financial governance and policy on cloud consumption
  • Partner with FinOps and Allied Personas to confirm the accuracy of cost model calculation and reporting
  • Work with all Personas to understand the TCO and return on investment (ROI) of CSP investment


As someone in a Procurement role, I will…

  • Use the information from the FinOps team & Allied Personas to determine the optimal procurement method for cloud resources and licenses
  • Identify cloud contracts within the procurement system of record
  • Ensure cloud service provider and/or reseller agreements include access to cloud cost data for Allied Personas
  • Determine forward use projections by license type to determine longer term strategies for creating, modifying or ceasing to maintain license agreements with other companies outside of the cloud


As someone in an Engineering role, I will…

  • Consider current license and asset rights and costs when building resources in the cloud, selecting the appropriate licensed or unlicensed versions of architecture to create such cloud resources, and taking care not to purchase licensed products for which the organization has existing use rights available
  • Properly tag resources so Allied Personas can easily evaluate for it’s impact on other standards, contractual commitments and/or align cloud spend to other taxonomies
  • Partner with FinOps Practitioners and Allied Personas to understand the total cost of ownership associated with cloud migration, development, and operationalization, while using FinOps tools for specific deep-dive analytics of cloud expenditure and resource optimization
  • Distribute cloud costs among applications, products and solutions, business capabilities, and/or other taxonomies.


As someone in a Leadership role, I will…

  • Direct the strategic path for technology investment, confirming their future roadmap
  • Serve as the ultimate escalation authority, using insights from FinOps and Allied Personas to steer the organization
  • Assume accountability for forecasts, budgets, TCO & ROI calculations

Allied Personas

As someone in an Allied Persona role, I will…

  • Make available a summary of unallocated or hybrid use license entitlements with budget/ownership information that can be used by the FinOps team on cloud services to optimize spend.
  • Track and manage the license position of cloud resources by using the information provided by the FinOps team
  • Manage software license renewals and reduce licenses already migrated to cloud and not using BYOL
  • Use the information from the FinOps practitioner on marketplace software purchased costs available to the Allied Persona teams to manage
  • Establish and maintain clear lines of communication with the FinOps Office/Practitioner to ensure seamless coordination and prioritization of FinOps and Allied Persona team initiatives
  • Understand and communicate the organization’s cloud-related TCO, including direct CSP costs and indirect labor, management tool, SaaS, and license costs
  • Promote a culture of IT cost transparency and value-based decision-making on CSP investment
  • Align tools, reports, and data sources between FinOps and other IT Financial Standards for reliability and user-friendliness so stakeholders get harmonious and dependable information from both functions

Measures of Success & KPIs

Measures of success are represented in the context of cloud consumption and may include one or more key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs provide organizations with insight on how they are maximizing the benefits gained from combining FinOps and Allied Persona teams to understand and manage cloud costs. For a full list of FinOps KPIs, check out the KPI Library to select the KPIs that make the most sense for your organization. There are some indicators of success that are universal and would apply to both the FinOps Personas and Allied Personas, such as:

  • Consistent Reporting: Reporting on CSP consumption is coordinated between Allied Personas and FinOps teams, the same data sources are used, and analytical results are consistent.
  • Coordinated Policy and Governance: Allied Personas and FinOps teams consult with each other before establishing or changing cloud financial management policies, the governance structure, or products used to manage cloud consumption.
  • Measures of success are represented in the context of cloud costs and may include one or more key performance indicators (KPI), describe objectives with key results (OKR), and declare thresholds defining outliers or acceptable variance from forecasted trends.

Below are some measures of success along with KPIs that may interest with other frameworks:

  • License Compliance: Monitoring software license compliance works to avoid potential legal and financial liabilities; the objective of this key performance indicator is to maintain compliance with license and contract obligations.
  • License Optimization: Monitoring software licenses to minimize underutilized licenses or to avoid unused licenses.
  • Cloud Security and Risk Management: Monitoring cloud security to identify potential risks by configuring and reporting appropriate policies and setting alerts with the objective to ensure the security and protection of cloud resources and to protect data on them (e.g. Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management, or CAASM).

There are a number of KPIs that could be used to help track the effectiveness of your FinOps program overlapping with Allied Personas, such as:

  • % / count of licenses available through cloud migrations
  • % of applications moved to a cloud environment
  • % / amount of support costs for on-premises licenses reduced
  • Tag Compliance: percentage of resources tagged
  • % of CSP costs aligned with the other standards
  • % of Costs Associated with Unallocated CSP Cloud Resources
  • % of CSP Cloud Costs that are Tagging Policy Compliant
  • % of Costs Associated with Untagged CSP Cloud Resources

Inputs & Outputs

FinOps Inputs

  • Cloud Consumption Data (e.g. AWS Cost and Usage Report; Azure Cost Management and Billing)
  • Cloud Commitment Plans and Consumption (e.g. savings plans, reserved instances, other negotiated commitments to consume such as the Microsoft Azure Commitment to Consume Agreement (MACC), AWS Enterprise Discount Plan (EDP), etc.)
  • Enterprise Cost and Resource Pricing Schedule(s).
  • Cloud Platform Budgets and related monitoring, alerts, etc.
  • Related contractual benefits, inclusions, and licensing features (e.g. Azure Hybrid Use Benefits)
  • Cloud Tagging standards

Allied Persona Inputs

  • Licensing data
  • Software licensing commitments
  • Formal Audit Reports
  • Application Portfolio Master and Service Registry, including application/service owner, demand profile (in period and forecasted)
  • IT Service Management data, including IT Service Catalog/CMDB/Service Registry, and Service Tickets
  • IT Asset Management data, including Servers (physical, remote/cloud, and virtual including hypervisor)
  • IT Vendor Management data, including Vendor Agreements and Contracts (e.g. cloud service providers, as well as consulting, contract, and other related service providers)
  • IT Technical Inputs from monitoring tools for provisioned/ used storage, CPU/ RAM utilization, etc.
  • Management and Billing)

Finance/Financial Inputs

  • Chart of Accounts, Cost Centers, Business Unit Codes, Capital Budget Codes, Location Codes
  • Cost Allocation Model (Actual/Planned Cost to Cost Pools, IT Towers, and Apps & Services/Solutions allocations)
  • General Ledger; Payables Ledger
  • Financial Analysis Variables, Rates, and Ratios, including Discount Rate(s) (or WACC), Hurdle Rate(s), Event Horizon, Standard Labor Rates and Burden Rate (Labor; Planning)
  • Financial Planning and Budgeting data by Ledger Account, Cost Center and by financial period.
  • Fixed Asset Ledger
  • Financial Policies, Procedures, Protocols, and Practices, including financial expenditure approval thresholds; depreciation and amortization policy/strategy; capitalization bias/strategy;

Organizational Inputs

  • Organizational Structure, Human Resources, and Labor data, including internal/external labor cost rates, number of FTEs, standard burden rates; contractual restrictions, limitations, etc.
  • Benchmark data, including industry/sector specific metrics