How Cloud Services Brokerage Helps Manage IT Budgets
Cloud spending is on track to reach nearly $400 billion over the next three years, Forbes reports, and 48 of the Fortune 50 companies have announced public cloud adoption plans. The challenge? While implementing cloud services is easier than ever, deriving business value isn’t always straightforward. Now, many organizations are choosing certified cloud brokers to help bridge the gap between adoption and critical advantage.
The Cloud Broker
What is a cloud brokerage firm? According to Gartner, it’s “an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers.” Simply put, cloud service brokers (CSBs) act as intermediaries between enterprises and cloud providers. They develop relationships with both parties to streamline implementation and ensure service and contractual obligations are met. Think of CSBs as specialized procurement firms. IT teams and managers leverage brokers to get what they want, when they want it.
The maturing cloud services market provides organizations with an easy entry point. From software as a service to infrastructure as a service and more specialized big data, mobile or storage services, companies can leverage almost any solution in the cloud. But with abundant choice comes the need for vetting and oversight. How do IT teams ensure they’re getting the right mix of services, price and flexibility? Cloud brokers offer several key advantages to help maximize adoption impact, including:
- Plug-and-play. Once an outlier, cloud technology is now run-of-the-mill for many enterprises. But this doesn’t mean that deployment and integration always go smoothly, despite C-suite and staff expectations for a plug-and-play experience. CSBs can help enterprises achieve this goal by sourcing circumstance-specific services that work naturally with existing network resources.
- Movement. Vendor lock-in should not go hand in hand with the cloud. CSBs help to mitigate the risk of data lock down and ensure that company data is always movable.
- Security. CSO points to the evolution of cloud access security brokers who can “provide deep insight into the state of your data in the cloud and tell you such things as who’s accessing your data and whether data is leaving the cloud environment.”
- Diversity. No cloud vendor excels at everything. CSBs do the legwork of finding the ideal services to fit corporate needs, thus reducing the amount of trial and error required by local IT.
As cloud services evolve, so do CSBs. Brokers can help improve IT operations and cloud adoption by addressing emerging concerns, such as the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Not all cloud providers have the infrastructure and experience necessary to securely implement IoT connections across the enterprise; CSBs help identify front-runners and implement forward-thinking solutions.
Automation offers another key focus area for IT. Both executives and admins are always looking for ways to reduce human error, streamline data entry and maximize output. The right cloud solution equips companies to easily implement, govern and scale cloud services without the need for moment-to-moment human oversight.
Cognitive computing focuses on intelligent systems that can independently analyze data or detect incoming threats and then notify staff to take appropriate action. Given their large provider network, reputable CSBs are ideally positioned to identify key vendors and negotiate favorable terms.
Cloud spending is on the rise, and services are rapidly diversifying. The right CSB can help you to maximize impact and minimize overspending.