Ready for a cloud computing brokerage?

Ready for a cloud computing brokerage?

Summary: With cloud computing providers expected to grow exponentially there may be a need for a brokerage that allows IT buyers to efficiently procure services. Enter the cloud computing brokerage, an idea proposed by research firm Gartner.

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With cloud computing providers expected to grow exponentially there may be a need for a brokerage that allows IT buyers to efficiently procure services. Enter the cloud computing brokerage, an idea proposed by research firm Gartner.

At its Symposium powwow in Orlando, Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer walked folks through the cloud broker concept. This idea has been floated for a few days during the conference. The concept goes like this: Some entity needs to act as a broker as businesses work various cloud resources whether it be Amazon Web Services or Rackspace or Salesforce.com or any other vendor.

Gartner is so sure of this brokerage concept that it claims that through 2015 cloud service brokers will be the largest revenue growth opportunity. The message: Brokerages are needed so cloud computing will flourish so tech titans need to either become a broker or enable one.

So what's a cloud broker? Essentially it's a value added player that sits on top of all other cloud providers. The broker doesn't have to provide cloud services, but does need to facilitate transactions. This broker would handle behind-the-scenes tasks, add value and reduce risk (one key obstacle to cloud adoption). Meanwhile, this cloud broker would be your service level agreement model.

A few key points about why a cloud broker makes sense:

  • Intermediaries exist in consumer relationships with technology.
  • Intermediaries will be necessary as enterprises procure cloud services.
  • Many industries use brokerages every day in financial services, travel and other verticals.
  • Brokers act on behalf of the consumer, in this case the IT buyer.

Plummer then goes out on a limb and argues that there will be multiple cloud brokers and 20 percent of cloud services will be consumed via a broker. That's a pretty heady claim for a concept that's basically still on the white board.

Trust will also be an issue, which is why you can expect systems integrators, telecom carriers and outsources as being brokerage players. A Gartner survey showed that more than 63 percent of respondents would trust a systems integrator as a broker. Telecom carriers and outsourcers were No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Today the market is still very early. Here's Gartner's scorecard of nascent cloud broker services.

Topics: Servers, CXO, Cloud, Hardware, IT Priorities, Virtualization

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  • RE: Ready for a cloud computing brokerage?

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  • Doubtful

    See CMRC
    reyito2
  • RE: Ready for a cloud computing brokerage?

    I get the feeling "cloud computing brokerage" will help offset the price savings for going into the cloud. Meaning it will increase the cost to a business to go into the cloud.

    It also begs the question, if you need a brokerage to get into the cloud, the cloud is not really ready for prime time.

    The fact that so many different vendors exist, their offerings are sometimes hard to figure out, and their quality to a consumer is hard to figure out really means that this type of tech isn't really baked.

    I realize that some non-IT adopters are trying to end run these services into corporations but if the services fail, who takes the blame? The broker? The Adopter? The IT department? The vendor account manager?

    If you have to add a department to your company to replace a department already at your company, the new department had better be a massive cost saver and bring real value to the work place. So far replacing IT staff with vendor managers and cloud brokers is looking like a bad idea.
    mr1972
  • RE: Ready for a cloud computing brokerage?

    Agreed. Brokerage adds cost and limits the openess of cloud. The next hype the industry would probably create is a clearing house for cloud computing.
    Vince Chew
  • RE: Ready for a cloud computing brokerage?

    Brokers will not add cost to the end users, only make it easier to buy cloud services. Vendors will find a new channel for their products which is likely to drive a lower Customer Acquisition Cost. Resellers will find packaged solutions that are "easy to sell, that will help them grab a piece of the cloud pie. Brokers will be playing a big role with cloud services, specifically apps, distribution. For once i am 100% with Gartner here. Disclaimer: cloud based application brokerage is the business I am into.
    Christophe
    GetApp.com
    Christophe @...