Service Broker - Cloudy or Bright?

Last week I had an opportunity to speak with the CIO of a Fortune 500 engineering driven company. The one topic that generated the most conversation was “IT Service Provider to Service Broker”. Here were some of the key points from this CIO.



  • Brokering shared services is not a new concept. You can trace this back to the heyday of mainframes.
  • While there might be more choices on where services are sourced, there will be very few, if any, IT organizations that only become a service broker. Almost all IT organizations will still provide some reasonable amount of their own services – including via their own private clouds.
  • When it comes to the service desk or help desk, there can be many compelling reasons for (many) companies to keep this (and other) software in house. For a larger company, they will likely require dedicated systems for different applications and there are follow-on reasons to own and maintain the solution.
  • Strive for simplicity and ease of use in UIs, integration efforts required, solution administration & configuration. This was his encouragement to us (HP). 

I agree with all of these points. The third point on sourcing was interesting and this makes sense from a CIO perspective as they are considering where a variety of applications could be sourced or hosted. When I normally discuss this general topic, on-premise verse SaaS service desk has not been part of this specific service provider-broker conversation. From the HP perspective, we strive to provide choice on where or how the service desk is sourced.


This line of conversation leads back to the general topic of Cloud. One of the interesting things in my role is the opportunity to regularly speak with the analysts that track the ITSM and Service Desk market. In recent conversations with one of the leading firms, they have said “don’t get too carried away with Cloud” or maybe better “in the Cloud”. This was bouncing around in the back of my mind during the above meeting. Also, interesting in the context of Cloud arguably being the best marketing code word to get attention these days.


This all brings me to …


I was invited to speak on a BrightTALK Service Management in the Cloud Summit on October 17. There is a lot of different topics that can be covered under a Cloud banner, so I opted for “From IT Service Provider to Service Broker”. You can register at I picked the topic before last week’s CIO conversation, and I am always looking for more insight and other points of view.


Chuck Darst



P.S. A prize to anyone who can identify the mechanical "thing" above. There is a personal connection, abet spanned by a number of years.


Tags: Chuck Darst
chuck_darst | ‎10-18-2012 01:16 PM

Quick follow-up, we had the webinar yesterday and the recording is available at the same Brighttalk url


We covered some classic ITSM cloud topics to consider - without talking about products. The four main topics where 1) still need good process controls, 2) service portfolios, catalogs, and request management, 3) automation, and 4) role of asset management. You can get an quick overview of what was discussed by downloading the slides which are available as an attachment on the recording site.


I am always looking for feedback on this topic. So, let me know what you think.


Chuck Darst

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About the Author
HP IT Service Management Product Marketing team manager. I am also responsible for our end-to-end Change, Configuration, and Release Managem...

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