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Service Providers as Cloud Services Brokers: IT's role in the transition.

By Alain Decartes


Last spring, I had the opportunity to facilitate similar discussions in two cloud industry events in Berlin and Las Vegas, both focused on service providers.  Refraining from debating the best way to count cards or what is the best German beer, we were trying to answer a simple question:  Who owns the cloud services in your organization?


The objectives were certainly not to name names but to understand the transition of IT's role when service providers make the strategic decision to become cloud services broker.  The conversation went something like this:


  • “I own the cloud services”, said the VP Marketing & Sales, always first in making his point. “My sales teams know what their enterprise customers want and I can sell third party services to my customer as a cloud services broker.  I can even help customers select the right services across multiple clouds, and perhaps even gain by arbitraging services across the cloud to improve user pricing with brokers’ profitability.“


  • “Wait a minute”, answered the VP Product Development.  “As the link between the line of business and the IT department, I own the cloud servicesI will combine new services and quickly upgrade our existing services in bundles for the business market segment.  I will govern a published catalog of cloud services and help the organization make the right decision on sourcing models.”


  • “I need to own the cloud services”, argued the VP Operations.  “I am constantly under pressure to contain cost and increase efficiency.  As customers start purchasing cloud-based services, my Business Operation Manager and my IT and Network Manager will provide rapid service design, onboarding and full monitoring of the service level agreements for all components that comprise a business service in a cloud environment.”


  • More quietly, the Chief Information Security Officer made his point: “No cloud service without me, gentlemen.Using public cloud services potentially could present a huge security risk for our customers.  So I need to determine appropriate levels of requirements and risk acceptance to define security across cloud identity.”


  • After listening to the different parties, the Chief Information Officer stepped up and commented:  “Our cloud brokering business needs to increase the company revenue, improve the support for vertical offerings, and have the full visibility and control throughout the cloud service lifecycle.  How can we be sure that the service provided aligns with our business’ most strategic needs?  How can we control the service cost?  Also, becoming a cloud services broker brings another dimension to vendor and contract management:  How do we select an adequate partner and ensure that they deliver on established SLAs?”

 Alains post.png



Cloud Services Brokers need to aggressively identify the model that can help them provide an end-to-end solution for their business customers.  Not only will any one of the cloud services be important components of the offering, but also a number of different IT tools will need to be adapted for the different functions in a CSB’s organization.


If you are one of these individuals and you want to discover how HP will be able to support your Cloud Services Broker strategy, please download the Service Providers as Cloud Services Brokers: IT's role in the transition white paper (embedded url…) or go to


Christian St | ‎11-24-2012 03:51 PM

Interesting post.

It however appears the whitepaper download link is broken.

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