Discover how CloudZero helps engineering and finance get on the same team — and unlock cloud cost intelligence to power cloud profitability

Learn more Arrow Arrow

Explore CloudZero

Discover the power of cloud cost intelligence

Why Change Icon
Why Change?

Give your team a better cost platform

Services Icon

Give engineering a cloud cost coach

About Icon

Learn more about CloudZero and who we are

Pricing Icon

Learn more about CloudZero's pricing

Tour Icon

Take a customized tour of CloudZero


Explore CloudZero by feature

Cost Anomaly Detection Icon
Cost Anomaly Detection

Build fast with cost guardrails

Budgeting Icon
Budgeting And Forecasting

Drive accountability and stay on budget

Discount Dashboard Icon
Discount Optimization Dashboard

Manage all your discounts in one place

Dimensions Icon
CloudZero Dimensions

Organize spend to match your business

By Use Case

Cost Per Customer
Cost Per Customer Analysis

Understand your cloud unit economics and measure cost per customer

Kubernetes Cost Analysis
Kubernetes Cost Analysis

Discover and monitor your real Kubernetes and container costs

Unit Cost Analysis
Unit Cost Analysis

Measure and monitor the unit metrics that matter most to your business

Cost Allocation
Tagging And Cost Allocation

Allocate cost and gain cost visibility even if your tagging isn’t perfect

SaaS COGS Measurement

Identify and measure your software COGS

Engineering Cost Awareness
Engineering Cost Awareness

Decentralize cost decisions to your engineering teams

Cloud Cost Optimization
Cloud Cost Optimization

Automatically identify wasted spend, then proactively build cost-effective infrastructure

By Role

All Your Cloud Spend, In One View

CloudZero ingests data from AWS, GCP, Azure, Snowflake, Kubernetes, and more

View all cost sources Arrow Arrow


Discover the best cloud cost intelligence resources

Resources Icon Resources

Browse webinars, ebooks, press releases, and other helpful resources

Blog Icon Blog

Discover the best cloud cost intelligence content

Case Study Icon Case Studies

Learn how we’ve helped happy customers like SeatGeek, Drift, Remitly, and more

Events Icon Events

Check out our best upcoming and past events

Cost Assessment Icon Free Cloud Cost Assessment

Gauge the health and maturity level of your cost management and optimization efforts


CloudZero Advisor

Compare pricing and get advice on AWS services including EC2, RDS, ElastiCache, and more

Learn more Arrow Arrow

How SeatGeek Measures Cost Per Customer

Discover how SeatGeek decoded its AWS bill and measures cost per customer

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Skyscanner Creates A Cost-Aware Culture

Learn how Skyscanner decentralized cloud cost to their engineering teams

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Malwarebytes Measures Cost Per Customer

Learn how Malwarebytes measures cloud cost per product

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Remitly Shifts Cloud Costs Left

Learn how Remitly built an engineering culture of cost autonomy

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Ninjacat Combines AWS And Snowflake Spend

Discover how Ninjacat uses cloud cost intelligence to inform business decisions

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Smartbear Uses Cloud Cost To Inform GTM Strategies

Learn Smartbear optimized engineering use and inform go-to-market strategies

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right
arrow-left arrow-right
View all customer stories

5 Essential Things Every FinOps Team Needs

FinOps teams are becoming more important as cloud costs continue to rise. Here’s how to set your FinOps specialists up for success.

Is your current cloud cost tool giving you the cost intelligence you need?  Most tools are manual, clunky, and inexact. Discover how CloudZero takes a new  approach to organizing your cloud spend.Click here to learn more.

Every time your company onboards a new client or releases a new product, your cloud bill will grow. In fact, it doesn’t take a large event at all to see a spike.

Whenever your company changes direction even slightly, it can affect the bottom line. Add to that factors such as economic inflation and increased demand for high-speed, high-power cloud services, and it may seem like each month’s cloud bill is higher than it was before.

If that’s the case for you, you’re not alone. More companies than ever are assembling FinOps teams to fight ever-growing cloud costs.

Well-implemented FinOps teams can indeed save companies money and ensure margins stay healthy even during times of change and unpredictability.

Putting together a cohesive team can take some effort, however, especially if you’re new to the FinOps journey. Thankfully, there’s no reason to start at square one.

As long as your FinOps team has the people, strategies, and tools listed below, they’ll be in a solid position to keep your company’s cloud costs under control.

1. Company-Wide Representation

Not every organization is large enough to warrant having a full-time FinOps team. In medium to large companies, there may be one or a small handful of dedicated, full-time FinOps employees.

Most of the time, however, the FinOps team is a compilation of employees who primarily work other jobs within the company and devote a portion of their time toward FinOps responsibilities as well.

When recruiting employees to join the FinOps team, it’s a good idea to pull representatives from multiple departments. You can start with the finance, product, and engineering departments, as well as any others the company would like to include.

These representatives each bring their own department’s perspectives to the team and act as liaisons with the employees in their home departments. This helps to keep the entire company aligned toward the same financial goals.

Additionally, it helps if these representatives are leaders within their own departments. An engineering lead, for example, would be in a better position to influence the entire engineering team to control costs than would an engineer in a non-leadership role.

Plus, team leaders are typically used to working closely with other departments. For example, a product manager is likely accustomed to collaborating with finance to decide whether a particular feature is worth the cost.

Choosing representatives who already collaborate frequently can make FinOps tasks more seamless and natural.

2. Knowledge Of Cloud Costs And Unit Economics

Department representatives primarily need to bring their department’s perspective to the table, along with an open mind and a willingness to collaborate on managing costs.

If the company will be hiring an outside candidate or choosing a full-time FinOps leader, however, there are some important requirements to keep in mind for this position.

First of all, the FinOps specialist needs to know how cloud costs work in general, including how to track costs and how changing infrastructure and engineering decisions can affect margins.

Secondly, a FinOps leader doesn’t necessarily have to understand the accounting side of finance, but he or she should be familiar with unit economics.

Specifically, they need to know how to find the unit economics of each product or feature given the tools they have to track costs. They should also demonstrate an understanding of why unit economics are so important and how they can be used to make strategic business decisions.

Whether your bill goes up or down is meaningless without business context.  CloudZero offers a simple and flexible way for you to group and measure costs  by whatever metrics make sense for your business (e.g., cost per customer, per  feature, per product, per team, and more).Click here to learn more.

3. A Way To Keep Track Of Cloud Spending

Setting up a FinOps team is moot if your company doesn’t have a way to track costs.

If you can’t measure costs in detail, you won’t know whether your actions are having a positive or negative effect until next month or even next quarter when you get the cloud bill. Even if you do see a reduction in costs, you wouldn’t necessarily understand which decisions led to this result.

To make a sizable difference based on anything besides sheer luck, you have to be able to break your costs down into enough detail to monitor changes and trends.

This means you’ll need granularity not only in terms of what you track — costs for individual products, features, and customers, for example — but also when.

You’ll want to see the effects of your team’s decisions in as close to real time as possible. Otherwise, you’ll always be playing a game of catch-up and you’ll never get ahead of cost issues as they arise.

Your costs will fluctuate as you add customers and they interact with your  products. CloudZero helps you understand the drivers of your cost, so you can  differentiate between healthy customer interaction or wasted spend.Click here  to learn more.

4. Shared Accountability

When projects don’t go according to budget plans, who is held responsible?

In many companies, executives tend to shift blame toward engineers for spending too much money or toward the finance department for their failure to rein in engineers’ spending and enforce the agreed-upon budget.

If the company employs a dedicated FinOps specialist, that person may come under fire when the company’s results don’t line up with the spending plan.

However, placing blame on one person or department is at best unproductive, and at worst harmful to your company culture. In reality, there are a number of things that could have gone wrong to contribute to the overspending.

Think of all the ways a perfectly balanced FinOps team would work together:

  • The product team would devise plans for new products with costs in mind. Ideally, they would thoroughly understand how much their desired product would cost to implement, and they would convey those costs to the rest of the FinOps team.
  • The finance department would develop a budget for the project, taking into account the (hopefully accurate) estimates of how much it will cost.
  • Anyone involved with pricing and packaging would structure pricing tiers with a healthy margin in mind.
  • Engineers would build a robust, efficient product that operates within the financial constraints. To do this, they would have to tag all resources correctly, track their cloud spend in real time, and alert other team members early if they suspect the project will go over-budget.
  • Product, finance, and engineering teams would all need to stay nimble and adapt to problems and changes as they come up.
  • The FinOps team leader would encourage everyone to stay on track and realign the team when goals start drifting.

If a breakdown occurs in any one of those areas, it’s likely not the fault of just one person or department. Shared accountability keeps everyone working together with the same incentives and avoids introducing strife and tension between team members.

5. An Emphasis On Costs In The Company Culture

Sharing accountability is a crucial part of building a positive company culture about optimizing costs, but it’s not the only factor.

The FinOps Foundation is one of the best resources for building your company’s culture around cost optimization. In fact, it provides an entire framework for building culture throughout each stage of the FinOps journey.

Following this established framework can help your dedicated FinOps specialists and departmental representatives find their place in the overall puzzle.

You Build The team; CloudZero Will Bring The Tools

Assembling a FinOps team is a fairly straightforward exercise; the part you might be struggling with is coming up with a way to track costs in enough detail to be useful.

You could hire yet another team to analyze your AWS reports, figure out which costs belong in which categories, break the results down into unit economics, build a convenient dashboard for easy visualization, and devise a way for all company members to view their relevant information at the appropriate level.

At the end of the day, however, reinventing the wheel costs far more time and money than simply implementing a ready-made solution such as CloudZero.

With CloudXero, your entire company — not just your FinOps team — can be part of the cost conversation.

Each employee can see how his or her decisions affect the company’s bottom line, and the FinOps team can use these insights to build smarter strategies for the future.

CloudZero specialists are also happy to provide consultation for clients who want to take the next steps on their FinOps journeys.

Schedule a demo today to see the power of CloudZero for yourself.

Cody Slingerland

Author: Cody Slingerland

Cody Slingerland, a FinOps certified practitioner, is an avid content creator with over 10 years of experience creating content for SaaS and technology companies. Cody collaborates with internal team members and subject matter experts to create expert-written content on the CloudZero blog.


Join thousands of engineers who already receive the best AWS and cloud cost intelligence content.