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What Is a Cloud Broker, Anyway?

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We’ve all had that feeling before: The feeling that you’re missing something that everyone else is in on. For today’s IT leaders, that feeling might come up when you hear talk about cloud brokers.

Meanwhile, you head back into your office and deal with your ever-growing shadow IT problem. But the cloud-broker whispers and your shadow IT issues are linked.

If you’re wondering “what the heck is a cloud broker?” we’ve got you covered.

Cloud Brokers—Like Stockbrokers for SaaS Apps

If you’ve ever invested in the stock market, you know the traditional approach is to work with a stockbroker to invest on your behalf. Your stockbroker is a middleman who can provide key advice as you make decisions on where to invest your money.

The same is true of cloud brokers.

These third-party companies and consultants mediate between your company and a cloud service provider. Depending on your company’s stage in the buyer’s journey, a cloud broker could serve a number of different purposes:

  • Expert Advice on Competitive Landscape: Every service and application provider promises a revolutionary product, but it’s no secret that there are many different options that can serve your needs. A cloud broker might be used to research the competitive landscape, saving business stakeholders time when choosing the right option.
  • Contract Negotiation Assistance: We already know that cloud services SLAs can be somewhat of a mystery for business and IT leaders. For those who would rather not deal with contract negotiations, cloud brokers can step in and address business needs in the most cost-effective way possible. In some cases, this might mean dividing services amongst different providers with a multicloud approach.
  • Broker as Technical Support: If you’re working with a PaaS or IaaS scenario, migration processes don’t end when you choose a provider. You have to start worrying about transferring on-premises data to the new cloud environment and all of the management this process entails. Some cloud brokers will walk your company through migration. In other cases, a cloud broker could sell you a white-labeled stack of cloud services and help you integrate it into your IT environment.

The market for these cloud broker services is still young. But if you’re an IT leader, brokers may not be necessary, no matter how mature their businesses are.

That’s the key to this whole topic—why aren’t business stakeholders coming to you and your IT team during these cloud purchase processes?

IT as a Cloud Broker—The Key to Success in Modern Business 

It’s time to quiet the cloud whispers that are spreading throughout your organization. If a business leader wants to implement new cloud technology, you should be the go-to resource from research through migration.

Unfortunately, research shows that business leaders don’t have that level of trust in IT when it comes to cloud purchases. Check out our on-demand webinar, How to Become a Cloud Broker: Learn the Skill Set Needed for Modern IT to find out more about how IT can earn a seat at the table and become the in-house expert on cloud purchases.

Joe Michalowski: Joe Michalowski has experience writing for executive-level audiences on topics such as cloud computing, network visibility, cybersecurity, telecommunications, digital transformation, and more. He's based outside of Boston and writes for AppNeta about IT infrastructure.