Cloud service brokerage is considered as one of the hottest opportunity area in cloud computing space today. Before we dive into its business value, let us understand in a nutshell what a cloud service broker actually is. A cloud service broker firm acts as an interface between cloud service providers and customers who want cloud services. A cloud service broker helps in:
- Cloud service implementation
- Integration of services with existing systems and services
- Aggregation of services from various vendors
- Customization of services to suit requirements of a customer
As you can see, these are the activities which in most cases become very complicated, time consuming and hectic for a firm looking for cloud implementation. A cloud service broker is some ways similar to a real estate broker who helps in identification of a property based on requirement, helps in negotiation the deal, becomes an interface and acts to protect your interests.
Cloud brokerage services in some ways synergistic amalgamation of several existing service providers:
- Pure infrastructure providers: These are generally involved in activities such as providing cloud service infrastructure, integration, etc.
- Pure software providers: These include SaaS providers, value added services reseller for cloud, cloud tool vendors etc.
- Pure cloud consultants: These are involved at conceptualization and integration level.
But for a successful cloud implementation by a firm all the above are required. Rather than hiring three separate providers / consultants, cloud service brokerage provides a one-stop-shop for all the above.
Business value of cloud service brokers
Based on these characteristics, the business value of cloud brokers in significant:
- Increase the choice available for a customer to choose from. The choice improves in terms of services, associated costs, service providers, etc. Also, it provides flexibility of consuming cloud services from multiple vendors which otherwise is a complex task.
- It also provides a choice of choosing from public and private cloud providers.
- Improves the control over cloud roll out as compared to when done in-house
- With large number of choices available, a customer can pick and choose based on the budget. As a one-stop-shop, cloud services brokerage also extends cost savings. A customer can compare and then optimize TCO by choosing from several available options.
- One of the most important point is it simplifies the implementation, integration and usage of cloud for a firm. Thus the focus becomes on using the cloud services and not on other complexities associated with it. Thus, they can now derive maximum benefits of cloud implementation.
Based on the value it provides to business and cloud service providers, cloud service brokerage in indeed here to stay and grow. Development of this business model is not only advantageous for firms looking for cloud services but for those who want to provide them.