Cloud

Why enterprises need cloud brokers to achieve success in the 'second decade of the cloud era'

Most enterprises understand the importance of the cloud in managing data, yet many still struggle to form a cloud-based strategy. Here's why the cloud service broker is essential to businesses' cloud deployment.

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Illustration of cloud network with multiple nodes and connections

Image: iStockphoto.com/DigtialStorm


While most businesses today have started to embrace the cloud as an essential business tool, integrating a successful cloud strategy still remains a challenge. In order for businesses to thrive in what Gartner research calls the "second decade" of the cloud era, it is not enough to simply use the cloud: Businesses must embrace a cloud services broker to deploy an overall strategy for the cloud.

A new report by Frost & Sullivan, titled The Rise of the Cloud Service Broker Model: Helping IT Organizations Transform to Support Digital Business, takes an in-depth look at the cloud broker model, exploring why it is essential for businesses—and how they can adapt this approach.

So what, exactly, is a cloud service broker? According to Tony Bradley, who wrote on the subject for TechRepublic, "the cloud services broker is more of a consolidated cloud app store, or cloud services clearinghouse than a broker. Services like AppDirect and AppTix aggregate cloud services from the vendors they work with, and provide a one-stop-shopping experience that makes it easier for businesses to search for, and find the cloud services they need."

IT leaders today must move beyond procuring and managing corporate technology assets, according to the report, in order to successfully implement digital transformation strategies.

But many organizations are not ready for the challenge.

The report also examined a specific provider, DoubleHorn, which provides a service that helps businesses implement this approach, and how its own platform, BetterClouds, is one available option for businesses interested in taking on a cloud service broker.

"In recent years, the 'IT-as-a-Service' concept has gained favor among forward thinking businesses, with the IT organization acting as a service broker to the business," said Lynda Stadtmueller, vice president of Stratecast and Frost & Sullivan Cloud Computing Services, in a press release. "In this role, IT employees select, deploy, and manage cloud-based services to optimally meet the objectives of their new business stakeholder 'clients.'"

According to the report, the cloud service broker "accepts responsibility for ensuring that workloads are running in the optimal cloud environment, not just at time of implementation, but continually - and therein lies the challenge." The role, the report states, is for constant monitoring and tweaking, in order to ensure peak performance.

"Fundamental to the model is a comprehensive technology platform," said Stadtmueller in the report, "which supports key functions required by a service broker, from initial assessment and comparison, to procurement, to management and cost optimization, across cloud service providers."

As businesses continue to integrate cloud strategy into their digital transformation initiatives, service broker technology—like BetterClouds and others like it—can present a great option to help make the transition go smoothly.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. While many enterprises understand the value of the cloud and begun using it, many still struggle with implementing a cloud strategy.

2. A new report by Frost & Sullivan, titled The Rise of the Cloud Service Broker Model: Helping IT Organizations Transform to Support Digital Business, explores how a cloud broker can help businesses use what TechRepublic contributor Tony Bradley calls a "one-stop-shopping experience that makes it easier for businesses to search for, and find the cloud services they need."

3. A cloud service broker will continually ensure that "workloads are running in the optimal cloud environment," according to the report, and tweak activity to maintain peak performance.

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About Hope Reese

Hope Reese is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers the intersection of technology and society, examining the people and ideas that transform how we live today.

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