Should You Work With a Cloud Services Broker?

By: Katie Daggett| - Leave a comment

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If your enterprise is considering a cloud services broker to work with, the interest was likely piqued by the promise of someone gathering data for you about various cloud services, including information about cost, efficiency and functionality. A cloud services broker is designed to do this for you, acting as a third party to help you determine which cloud services meet your needs and mesh with your applications. Ideally, this type of software will be able to find the best of several public and private cloud services.

Shortcomings of a Cloud Services Broker

These benefits may seem like a great option for busy decision-makers, but there are several obstacles that can hamper the ability of a cloud services broker. For instance, many cloud-based applications must be localized for a particular cloud platform, and, if you’re locked in to a specific cloud platform, it can be difficult to use other cloud services. Additionally, most cloud services brokers can only help you with generic cloud-based services.

Containerization of applications has been presented as a possible solution to these shortfalls. According to InfoWorld, “Containers should be able to work with most cloud services, so they can truly be allocated to whatever cloud services makes the most sense at the moment yet retain their custom capabilities.”

However, even if containers allow your enterprise to move applications from cloud to cloud, you may not want to deal with the added complexity and variability. It may actually be easier to monitor actual usage and scale your chosen service-level agreements accordingly.

A Better Brokerage Solution

For these reasons, the best option for many enterprises is to identify a cloud services broker that can actually provide an automated, self-service view of a variety of cloud providers. This isn’t the way most cloud services brokers operate, but a select few offer these capabilities.

To be truly helpful, the cloud services broker you choose should also do the following:

  • Review and audit each cloud provider for strengths and weaknesses.
  • Clarify cost structures and contractual complexities to provide a clear understanding of pros, cons and the long-term value of each provider.
  • Provide a framework for rapidly integrating your existing contractual relationships with cloud vendors.
  • Support accurate and timely access to service providers and delivery environments you choose.
  • Facilitate the delivery of a multisourced solution using existing service management tools through open APIs.
  • Provide a single system of record that tracks an order from design through billing, and enable centralized governance and cost management by application, virtual data center and business unit.

On the surface, cloud services brokers may seem like an ideal solution for the IT challenges facing your enterprise. However, not all of them are created equal. It’s important to investigate your options carefully and select a cloud services broker that can fulfill your enterprise’s needs.

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About The Author

Katie Daggett

Freelance Writer

Katie Daggett is owner and chief content strategist of KD Copy & Content. She is an agency-caliber copywriter with more than 15 years' experience in marketing communications and specializes in creating exceptional B2B and B2C marketing content. Katie has worked with clients big and small in a variety of industries, writing everything from direct mail pieces to television ad campaigns. She's learned what it takes to write an effective headline or email subject line, how to engage readers emotionally so that they keep reading and encourage them to take the next step with a strong call to action. Today, Katie specializes in writing SEO website copy and online marketing content directly for client companies. She is passionate about helping B2B and B2C marketers create content that generates more leads and convert those leads into sales.

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