Cloud costs and FinOps


Ksenia Ostride Labs

Ksenia Kazlouskaya

Chief Marketing Officer

Ksenia’s background is in the IT and healthcare industries. She helps us grow our story in the cloud migration community and execute our inbound marketing strategy

Cloud costs and FinOps – what’s the difference

Updated 1 Apr 2024


In the digital era, where cloud computing has become the backbone of modern businesses, managing cloud costs and optimizing investments is paramount. However, confusion often arises between cloud cost management and Financial Operations (FinOps). This article aims to demystify these concepts, highlighting their differences and how they interconnect to ensure efficient cloud spend and resource utilization.

Cloud Costs: The Focus on Management

Cloud cost management is a focused approach dedicated to monitoring, analyzing, and controlling the financial investment in cloud resources. It involves identifying how funds are allocated across various cloud services, pinpointing areas where spending is excessive, and implementing strategies to minimize waste. A key aspect of cloud cost management is the identification of unused or underutilized resources, which, when addressed, can lead to significant savings.

Efficient cloud cost management requires a detailed understanding of billing structures and cloud pricing models. Team must continuously monitor cloud spend, set budget alerts, and adjust resources in real-time to avoid overages. The goal is to get a firm grip on cloud expenses, ensuring that every dollar spent contributes to the organization’s objectives.

FinOps: A Holistic Approach

FinOps, on the other hand, extends beyond the realm of cost management into the broader territory of financial operations within the cloud. It represents a cultural shift that brings together technology, finance, and business teams to drive strategic decisions about cloud investments. FinOps is not just about reducing costs; it’s about optimizing spend to ensure that cloud investments deliver the maximum value to the business.

The core principle of FinOps is the collaboration between teams, fostering a shared responsibility for the financial health of cloud operations. This approach emphasizes the importance of visibility into cloud spending, enabling teams to make informed decisions about where to allocate resources for the best return on investment. FinOps involves processes and practices aimed at improving forecasting, budgeting, and the efficiency of cloud spending, all while aligning with the company’s growth and scaling needs.

Key Differences and Synergies

While cloud cost management and FinOps might seem similar, their key difference lies in their scope and objectives. Cloud cost management is primarily concerned with controlling and reducing spend, focusing on tactical measures to eliminate waste. In contrast, FinOps adopts a more strategic and collaborative approach, aiming to maximize the business value of cloud resources. It involves a broader spectrum of activities, including financial planning, analysis, and governance, to support sound cloud investment decisions.

However, these two disciplines are not mutually exclusive; instead, they complement each other. Effective cloud cost management is an essential component of FinOps. By integrating cost-saving practices into the broader FinOps strategy, organizations can ensure that their cloud investments are not only efficient but also aligned with overarching business goals.

The Role of Teams and Responsibility

A distinctive feature of FinOps is its emphasis on team collaboration and shared responsibility. While cloud cost management can be relegated to specific teams focused on IT or finance, FinOps requires active participation from across the organization. It’s a cross-functional effort where the finance team’s insights into cost-saving opportunities feed into strategic planning processes, and technology teams ensure that cloud resources are efficiently scaled and optimized.


Understanding the distinction between cloud cost management and FinOps is crucial for organizations looking to harness the full potential of their cloud investments. While cloud cost management provides the tools and techniques to reduce and control spend, FinOps offers a comprehensive framework for maximizing the value derived from cloud resources through strategic management and team collaboration. Embracing both disciplines allows organizations to not only manage their cloud costs effectively but also to ensure that their cloud strategies are resilient, flexible, and aligned with their long-term business objectives.

Ostride Labs is ready to help manage cloud costs, ensuring that your cloud strategies are not only cost-effective but also aligned with your long-term business objectives. 



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