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The cloud brokering approach explained

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By: Ahmed Banafa

 

What is the cloud brokering approach? Why do we need it and who will use it? These questions are crucial for enterprises, especially ones using a hybrid infrastructure. But to understand the significance of such an approach, we need to realize that today's enterprises are facing nonstop challenges, especially with new trends such as cloud computing, big data analytics, and mobility, with Internet of Things (IoT) on the horizon. All that is putting pressure on resources and draining them fast. Fortunately, there are many options available to enterprises that they never had before. As always, choices must be based on achieving business objectives and optimizing resources.

 

cloud brokering approachAbout cloud brokering

Many enterprises today use a hybrid infrastructure, mixing private and public clouds, and the number of such enterprises is expected to increase in the coming years. This group will drive the adoption of the cloud brokering approach in the future, because a simple upgrade of all the components of the infrastructure is expensive and not recommended to meet the needs of today and the future. Add to that the complexity of dealing with different vendors at all the components of the current infrastructure, and you can see why there's a need for a more streamlined approach.

 

Cloud brokering approach services

 

Services provided by the cloud brokering approach

 

The cloud brokering approach can be described in simple terms as providing intermediation, aggregation, and customization across wide choices of cloud services providers. This approach creates a secure, governed cloud management platform to streamline the delivery of complex cloud services to enterprises using a hybrid infrastructure. Additionally, it ensures interoperability and security of enterprise data passing between systems. This approach ensures that the risk of multiple cloud vendors is mitigated, while the costs and benefits are maximized.

 

Advantages of using a cloud brokering approach

Some of the advantages of using the cloud brokering approach include:

  • Saving time for enterprises by providing the complete research services of available cloud services vendors
  • Providing enterprises with information about how to use cloud services to support business goals at low cost
  • Granting the right to negotiate contracts with cloud services vendors, which may result in a cost-effective solution, even with the services distributed among multiple vendors
  • Offering additional services such as data duplication, data transfer, and data security
  • Helping with cloud deployment planning, cloud management, and cloud storage services
  • Enabling enterprises to realize the full potential of the cloud services vendors while minimizing risks
  • Implementing enterprise IT policies and effectively handling service-level agreements between cloud services providers and the enterprises
  • Providing scalability as needed, especially with hybrid structures

 

On the other side, the cloud services broker needs to understand the enterprise's business model to recommend the cloud services that will deliver the greatest value. The cloud broker's role isn't simply to save enterprises time by researching services from different vendors and providing them with information. His or her larger role is to work with the enterprises to understand their work processes, provisioning essentials, security, budgeting, and data management requirements.

 

Studies show that the cloud service brokerage market will reach $19.16 billion by 2020, which indicates how much this approach will spread based on many advantages and applications now and in the future. One of the side effects of using this approach include bringing shadow IT into the light, thanks to faster implementation of cloud services without a waiting period. This approach will also help enterprises—especially those with hybrid infrastructures—navigate through the new updates and upgrades of hardware/software cycles. It makes perfect business sense in the complex market of cloud services vendors.

 

In a nutshell, the cloud brokering approach provides a simplified management interface with consolidated accounting, controlling of cloud services, and payments, which is preferable for many enterprises.

 

The future of the cloud brokering approach

The cloud brokering approach covers two categories: software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The future is in combining the two via cloud brokering as a service (CBaaS). With this convergence of both services, enterprises will have a process-driven and policy-driven provisioning framework to follow. This framework will support the dynamic outsourcing of both SaaS and IaaS, giving a giant push for providers looking for a unified cloud broker.

 

To learn more about prioritizing your IT investments, watch the webinar Perspectives: How to capitalize on the wave of IT change.

 

 

 

About the author

Banafa AhmedAhmed Banafa

 

Extensive experience in IT operations and management, as well as a research background in a variety of techniques and analysis of new technology trends. Ahmed is a professor, reviewer, and technical contributor.

About the author

Connect with Ahmed:

 Follow me on Twitter @banafaahmed

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