Cloud computing is the process of storing, managing, and using software, data, and technical infrastructure through a remote server or data center (sometimes across the country… or across the world) from the device accessing it. Using the cloud has become a commonplace part of our way of life in every aspect– in the education sector, in the business world, and even in our private lives. Many people do not even realize they are dependant on the cloud, while many of the online tools that they use on a regular basis are provided by a cloud service. Collaboration tools like Google Docs, online storage such as Dropbox, and online services like TurboTax are all forms of cloud computing that we use everyday.
Because there are so many providers of cloud services, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses, it is becoming a necessity for businesses and organizations to use cloud services brokers to help them develop a comprehensive cloud computing strategy. Cloud services brokerages specialize in every detail of cloud communications, and help connect businesses with the the right cloud providers to optimize their processes. There are four significant benefits to hiring a cloud services broker:
- Broad Technical Expertise
When an IT organization selects a cloud provider directly, they sometimes get stuck on a technical path that limits them to that single service provider’s strategy. When cloud brokerage services are utilized, it is like going to a department store for every cloud service available.
The organization, with the cloud consultants help, can pick and choose which services are best for each of their diverse needs within their organization. Additionally, cloud consultants have in-depth expertise on the specific applications, tools, infrastructures provided by the cloud, which offers other benefits, such as better security precautions– a risk that is often associated with cloud services.
- Lower Total Cost of Ownership
The cost of adopting cloud computing services is often reduced with cloud services broker for several reasons:
- The broker can assist with negotiating contract terms with the cloud providers for the client, to achieve lower pricing models, as well as improved service level agreements that lead to ongoing savings.
- The brokers experience transitioning organizations onto cloud services helps streamline the adoption of it, and reduces costly errors.
- Finally, by putting together an a la carte cloud service plan, the broker can guide the organization to identify services that are less necessary and put together a package that meets all of their needs, while being cost-effective.
- The “project manager” role that a cloud services broker takes on helps manage cost and spending for the acquisition of cloud services.
Sometimes IT directors struggle to get executives within an organization on-board with a costly cloud integration project. Bringing a cloud services broker into to the equation to contribute savings is a factor that both IT and executives can agree on.
- Greater Operational Efficiency
One of the greatest benefits of using cloud services is the efficiency that it adds to the organization. Cloud services offer a better application performance, reinforces a great data backup and disaster recovery plan, and enables remote accessibility. Using a cloud services broker can take the efficiencies already offered by moving to the cloud and make them even more efficient. A broker can facilitate faster adoption of new cloud services, and while assisting in the decommission of retired services for a seamless transition. Additionally, even when a variety of cloud service providers are used, the broker can act as a single point of contact to provide oversight and assistance across all of the vendors.
- Improved Compliance and Risk Assessment
Depending on the industry that a company works in, there may be specific compliance requirements that they are subject to. For example, the health industry must follow HIPAA and safety protocol, and the utility industry is subject to regulation standards and critical infrastructure protection compliance. Having a comprehensive understanding of the cloud computing options gives cloud services broker the unique position to help an organization put together a cloud package that specifically meets their compliance requirements.
Has your organization adopted cloud services with the help of a cloud service brokerage? We would like to hear about your experience; please share with us in the comment section below.