Using a Cloud Broker to Find The Right Provider
With all of the cloud computing options and services available, selecting the right ones can be a daunting task for any business owner. Even traditional information technology service providers are finding that their specialties in local network and PC management must be augmented with Internet-based services and web offerings. Many software resellers and ISV representatives have also concluded that the cloud must become a standard inclusion in their offering, and that their abilities to embrace these new technologies only increases their opportunities to provide remote implementation and support services.
The challenge is in selecting the right provider – or providers, as there may be multiple – who can meet your business needs now and in future. Additionally, leveraging the right technologies and applying these solutions wisely can introduce efficiency in both time and cost that was previously not recognized by the business. While there is no single solution or set of products which will provide the necessary functionality for the lifespan of the business, one can establish a process and framework which recognizes the need for agility and addresses the requirement to meet new business needs as they arise.
In a recent Gartner Report which concluded that cloud consumers need brokerages to unlock the potential of cloud services, it was discussed that, “With the evolution of cloud computing, one inescapable reality continues to surface and that is, as with service-oriented architecture before it, the fact that cloud computing promotes the idea of continuous proliferation of services,” said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and chief Gartner Fellow. “Unfortunately, using services created by others and ensuring that they’ll work — not only separately, but also together — are complicated tasks, rife with data integration issues, integrity problems and the need for relationship management. Hence the role of brokers to add value to services and to deliver new services built and delivered on top of old services.”
Gartner’s report recognizes that some “brokering” of cloud service or data may be delivered through technology, but there will still be a requirement for individuals who understand just how the pieces need to fit together and how the data must flow. These individuals, who Gartner refers to as the Cloud Service Brokerages (CSBs), will connect service consumers with service providers, and help manage the relationship between them.
Gartner divides Cloud Service Brokers into three main categories:
- Brokers providing Cloud Service Intermediation, which means that the broker provides a value-add to the service, and delivers the total solution via consumer-focused providers.
- Brokers providing Aggregation services, helping to bring multiple services together and ensuring interoperability and data security between systems or solutions.
- Brokers providing Cloud Service Arbitrage, meaning that flexibility and choice are part of the model, with the broker potentially representing multiple competitive or similar offerings and providing the best fit for each opportunity.
As your business looks to the cloud for innovation, efficiency, and mobility – remember to keep your feet firmly planted on planet earth until you know where you’re going. There are a lot of options available, and not all of the hype is representative of reality. You’ll want experienced professionals to help you get off the ground the right way.
Cooper Mann Consulting provides the help your business needs to find the right cloud applications, hosting, integration, and implementation services so that your leap to the cloud is a successful one. After all, we’ve been helping businesses use the cloud ever since there was one.
“What sits between you and the cloud will become a critical success factor in cloud computing..”
Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and chief Gartner Fellow