Cloud Brokerages to Enhance Service Value

by CXOtoday Staff    Jul 10, 2009

As cloud computing evolves, combinations of cloud services will be too complex for end consumers to handle their integration. This will see the emergence of cloud service brokerages to enable users to add value to services and to deliver new services built on top of old services, Gartner predicts.

These brokerages will use several types of brokers and platforms to enhance service delivery, and, ultimately, service value.

Cloud service providers must begin to partner with cloud brokerages to ensure that they can deliver the services they promote, according to Gartner’s Cloud Computing Special Report, which examines the realities and risks of Cloud.

"With the evolution of cloud computing, one inescapable reality continues to surface and that is, as with service-oriented architecture before it, the fact that cloud computing promotes the idea of continuous proliferation of services," said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and chief Gartner Fellow in the press note.

"Unfortunately, using services created by others and ensuring that they’ll work, not only separately, but also together, are complicated tasks, rife with data integration issues, integrity problems and the need for relationship management. Hence the role of brokers to add value to services and to deliver new services built and delivered on top of old services."

"The future of cloud computing will be permeated with the notion of brokers negotiating relationships between providers of cloud services and the service customers," said L. Frank Kenney, research director at Gartner. "In this context, a broker might be software, appliances, platforms or suites of technologies that enhance the base services available through the cloud. Enhancement will include managing access to these services, providing greater security or even creating completely new services."

Although cloud service brokers may be delivered through technology, there is still a need for brokerage businesses to exist to take advantage of the brokers. A brokerage is a service whereas a broker may simply be B2B technology, and Gartner believes that cloud service brokerages (CSBs) are one of the most necessary and attainable opportunities for cloud service providers. CSBs will broker relationships between a service consumer and a service provider. 

The type of brokerages will range between intermediation, aggregation and arbitrage. "What sits between you and the cloud will become a critical success factor in cloud computing as cloud services multiply and expand faster than the ability of cloud consumers to manage or govern them in use," said Plummer.

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