|By Ted Navarro||
|September 4, 2014 03:00 PM EDT||
The cloud plays an essential role in modern business. Once just a novel convenience, cloud storage and compute underpins many of the most important parts of the economy, both on and offline. The cloud landscape is no longer the preserve of a small number of giant infrastructure providers. Eager to capitalize on the dominance of the cloud infrastructure and services sector, dozens and perhaps hundreds of vendors have entered the space, competing fiercely on price and value-adds as they attempt to differentiate.
A flourishing marketplace is highly advantageous for cloud users, who benefit from a multitude of vendors competing for their business, but it also poses a problem. Interfacing efficiently with that market and dealing with multiple vendors adds a layer of complexity that most businesses don't have the expertise to negotiate.
Cloud brokerages act as an intermediary between cloud vendors and customers, offering services that help businesses maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their cloud infrastructure portfolio and leverage the benefits of a diverse market.
Cloud brokerages are not merely a one-stop shopping destination for commoditized cloud resources (although they are that too) ; cloud brokerages add value in multiple different ways.
Cloud Brokerages Aggregate
The primary purpose of cloud brokerages is to aggregate available services and allow businesses to view, compare, and select the best solution for their specific needs. This can be as simple as comparing the prices and features of cloud storage providers and as complex as empowering businesses to build multi-cloud platforms by combining the services of several vendors to develop a bespoke solution.
Cloud Brokerages Integrate
Selecting the best vendors is only part of the problem. Cloud brokerages provide an integration layer that unites the APIs of divergent vendors. No one vendor can be all things to all businesses, so the most efficient way to use the cloud is to combine the services of multiple vendors. But, as I already mentioned, doing so can be complex, often requiring business to build their own integration layer. Cloud brokerages do the work in advance, radically simplifying the process of building multi-cloud platforms.
Cloud Brokerages Extend
Once an integration layer exists, cloud brokerages can build services that add value on top of that layer. Specific sectors such as the media production industry have unique needs, and there are needs that apply to all sectors including authentication and identity management.
Cloud brokerages reduce the complexity of architecting and deploying multi-cloud solutions and provide additional services that enhance business's ability to leverage the with maximum efficiency and reduced costs. As the cloud market diversifies, with some vendors offering specific value-added services and some becoming purveyors of commodity storage and compute capacity, cloud brokerages will become ever more essential for business hoping to capitalize on the efficiency, scalability, and flexibility of the cloud.
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