Forming and building a cloud services brokerage (CSB) business can be time-consuming, but also lucrative. But according to Gravitant, the companies touting themselves as cloud brokerages enablers aren't getting the job done. Or many of them aren't, anyway.
Gravitant is, of course, one of those enablers, and it has its eye on differentiating itself, but the company does provide some insight beyond the sales pitch. As Brad Anderson, president and COO of Gravitant, wrote in a note to Talkin' Cloud, "A true cloud broker model focuses on heterogeneity and choice of services and providers across the complete lifecycle to enable organizations to deliver IT-as-a-service."
Anderson argues that many cloud broker enablers don't actually provide the ability to be a cloud broker, but most are providing only cloud management and virtualization platforms. What happens, he wrote, is most enablers instead set up would-be cloud services brokerage firms to be cloud providers instead of brokers.
For any firm planning on building a CSB practice, Anderson provided a list of criteria that should be considered when choosing a CSB enabler:
- "Expedia-like" consumption with an ITaaS catalog, the ability to easily compare different providers and order a cloud offering with a single click.
- Compare and match capabilities to compare public, private and virtual offerings on standard cost unit, as well as SLAs, provisioning times and other factors.
- A consolidated view of the cost of a complete service design of a multi-layer, multi-environment with added managed services—before a purchase is made.
- No bare applications to ensure the design and deployment of an enterprise-class application.
- Collaborative design tools.
- The ability to compare and monitor apps to ensure the best fit for customer needs.
- An open IT framework.
The benefits can be huge, according to Anderson.
"When the State of Texas implemented Gravitant's holistic platform, they cut design time from nine months to one month, got 40 percent cloud cost savings due to using public cloud, and 30 percent cost savings due to right-sizing capacity and choice in vendors," he wrote.