Recent research shows that the cloud computing market will continue to expand rapidly well into 2015, but whilst it solves many problems for IT departments, it also creates problems as well. And as a result companies are still approaching cloud computing with trepidation.
In answer to this, we have seen the rise of the Cloud Broker, which goes some way to bridging the gap between cloud service provider and customer, when it comes to adopting a cloud strategy. Up until now, cloud service brokers have used the supply and demand service model. But as the technology evolves, so does the adoption habits of its customers, which means that the cloud brokers will need to change their offerings too.
Brokers are ideally placed to assist customers in making the most of their current IT resources, whilst utilising cloud services where needed. The main focus of a broker should be to help customers save money, by making more informed decisions about what cloud services they really need. In this respect, brokers will need to have a good understanding of on-premise and cloud solutions and how the two can be used in unison. And, instead of being just the instigator of cloud adoption, they should be able to bring together infrastructure, integration and cloud applications as a unified service.
For customers, the benefits of using a broker are now seen as the first step in creating a cloud adoption strategy, as they;
- bring many individual services together as a unified solution
- help move data into the cloud
- assist with integrating the customer’s and provider’s network
- customizes cloud services for individual customers
- work out the monitoring and security requirements between the cloud and the customer’s premises
- implement services and solutions that may not be part of the provider’s core business
As cloud adoption strategies evolve, predictions by the likes of Stefan Ried, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, says that we will see an increase in cloud service providers taking on broker responsibilities. “Cloud brokerage models will start to emerge within large cloud provider portfolios in the next three years. Microsoft already has a broad portfolio of SaaS and IaaS products and could be a candidate for unified cloud brokerage. Existing cloud providers can add a brokerage service to their business to make their cloud services more attractive.”
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