Navigating the migration to cloud-based service delivery can be a complex undertaking fraught with unexpected and unpleasant surprises. One major task is preventing the proliferation of isolated pockets of cloud deployment. This can lead to a “rogue IT” problem that carries significant operational and security risks. In this environment, maintaining oversight of multiple cloud providers and ensuring that myriad business users of cloud services adhere to existing operational standards is imperative.
The use of cloud brokers – third parties that act as intermediaries between enterprise buyers and cloud service providers – can be an effective way to tackle the herd-the-cats challenge posed by cloud services. Maturing brokerage services provide clients an opportunity to efficiently procure on-demand cloud services, leverage purchasing power, oversee and manage commercial, operational and technical requirements and avoid lock-in with one provider
The model is clearly gaining traction, with the cloud broker market projected to grow by almost 50 percent through 2018. Key players include AppDirect, Jamcracker, Ostrato.
One specific benefit of using a cloud broker is to establish parameters and guidelines for internal consumers regarding authorized providers and services that can and can’t be deployed. Examples of parameters that can be leveraged include restricting spend for a particular consumer, and limiting the amount of resources that can be consumed by cost. Moreover, a broker enables rapid procurement of services, which is critical for business users who may otherwise be tempted to go off the reservation to purchase cloud capabilities.
Cloud brokers can also help with internal chargebacks and tracking of utilization. The alluring “pay by the drink” dynamic of the cloud doesn’t happen by magic – it requires centralized oversight and utilization management, which a broker can facilitate. Enterprises often struggle to implement financial levers that can be used to manage consumption by linking usage to costs. In other words, lacking transparency into cloud usage, the pay by the drink model becomes an open bar where nobody worries about who’s picking up the tab.About the author
Dave has over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry managing and developing leading-edge solutions and currently holds six patents, including several in cloud.
Prior to ISG, Dave was the Global Director for Cloud Solutions and Services at Unisys. In this role he managed the execution of sales and marketing strategies, including positioning, interfacing with analyst, and solution development. This included solutions such as ServiceNow for ITSM management, an IT Cloud Brokerage service and an automated application assessment service for cloud enablement as examples.