All businesses that are embarking on a cloud journey are realising that it’s not as straightforward as it may seem. Multiple cloud service providers means managing many relationships, which can be complex as well as inefficient. Businesses need help to manage this process and ensure they are getting the benefits they are paying for.
This is where cloud service brokers come in, says Richard Vester, group executive: cloud services at EOH. “These brokers act as the intermediary between organisations and the cloud providers, helping to build and strengthen the relationships, providers have with their clients by providing integration and consulting services.”
Bear in mind that the majority of larger corporations are already negotiating a plethora of contracts with multitudes of cloud service providers, he adds. “This translates into multiple service contracts with multiple providers, and of course multiple payments, a host of different passwords, myriad data streams, and too many providers to practically be able to keep tabs on.”
He says this is driving the need for an intermediary to make all these services work in unison, and unite all initiatives and efforts to gain the maximum benefits and efficiency.
“This is why a cloud services brokerage is proving invaluable to many enterprises. These third-party entities add value and benefits to the cloud services, on behalf of the consumers of those services. Their sole aim is to make that service more tailored to an organisation, or to integrate or amalgamate services, to boost their security, or add additional value and capabilities to the services that are already being offered.”
According to Vester, a broker can make cloud services more beneficial, as they work with the cloud providers to ensure better deals or pricing, as well as to find ways to squeeze the maximum benefits out of the services. They do this by staying on top of how the services work, to make sure their clients have the latest information at their fingertips.
“Because they are used to dealing with numerous providers and across a wide variety of consumer scenarios, any issues can be dealt with instantly instead of the organisation having to focus resources on fixing these issues internally. Instead, the company can use its resources to focus on its core business.”
Ultimately a broker’s job is to make it more cost effective, simple, safer, and efficient for businesses to consume, extend and integrate their cloud solutions and services, especially when those services are supplied by numerous providers. “Taking this a step further, the broker can be expected to intervene when there is an issue with the cloud services running in the business. Brokers can prevent the cloud providers from passing the buck, and insisting the problem lies elsewhere. By working with the different providers, the brokers can pinpoint the problem, and ensure the company isn’t inconvenienced,” Vester says.
“That’s why brokers are an essential element of any businesses’ cloud journey. They will guarantee that users of cloud services are not doubling up efforts, and signing multiple contracts that are superfluous, and will ensure the seamless integration with other cloud solutions and services. As organisations simplify their technology investments and move to the cloud, a broker becomes a natural progression. Brokers need to be a core component of any cloud initiative if the business hopes to achieve the maximum benefits from their cloud investments.”