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Cloud Brokering Services—The keys of a successful broker function in your enterprise


Guest Post: Bert van RIj,  IT Strategist, HP Helion


The latest buzz words in the IT industry are “Brokering”, together with “DevOps”. Unfortunately many of these concepts, like they often are in the IT industry, have bended into another technology implementation. In reality the need for brokering is the natural consequence of two major IT innovations in the last years:

  1. The growing availability of public clouds
  2. The realization that an IT department is no longer the Holy Grail for all Enterprise resourcing of compute capabilities.

Four years ago, any compute resourcing outside the IT department was considered unwanted, uncontrolled “shadow-IT”—representing an unacceptable business risk for the company.


In the coming years, the availability of public cloud services will increase massively and service brokering will soon become a mandatory capability for every IT department. To successful implement a service broker function, a number of key basic rules need to be respected:

  1. The accountability of the service broker function must be separated from the IT delivery organization. In many cases, the decision in favor of public cloud providers will be a threat for the jobs in the IT department. IF the accountability is not separated, it will be the construct of “the butcher quality approving his own meat”—meaning that the broker function will not be credible.
  2. The broker function must focus on added value for the enterprise. Only concentrating on resourcing cost comparisons does not take into account more abstract, less technical aspects like security, resilience, business response time, flexibility etc. This is why a broker function is not a replacement of the purchase department.
  3. The broker function is a business-focused organization. They should not be performing operation tasks like service desk, operational availability etc. If these tasks are needed, they should be subcontracted to an internal IT department. The broker function is therefore not only a mediator between seller and buyer but also an integrator of services.

In summary, the broker function is a new accountability structure in many IT departments. Only with help and detailed understanding of this new IT function, can it flourish. There is a danger that time and money is wasted on unclear and badly constructed broker functions leading to an ineffective implementation, which damages the image and credibility of the IT department more than it creates business benefits.

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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