I went on an adventure in Seattle this summer to a new industry—technology. The title of this article is not a reference to the mostly overcast weather in the Pacific Northwest, but rather to Microsoft’s cloud, Azure. Working in the Cloud Infrastructure COGS Finance team, I sought to build a framework to assess margins of various cloud computing products and to find solutions that enhance efficiency.
As I spent the first few days learning about the cloud from various experts in engineering, program management, demand forecasting, and capacity planning, it became clear that the problem we were tackling was complex, salient, and interdisciplinary; cloud growth and margins are key drivers of valuation. I found the process of understanding various stakeholders’ perspectives thoroughly exciting. Being able to translate the language of engineering or economics research into that of finance and vice-versa was something my liberal arts education at Wellesley College, followed by investment banking for two technical industries—power and renewables, and financial institutions—had prepared me well for.Continue reading Summer in the Cloud(s)