Small business communications

Cloud computing is sweeping the nation, in commercial sectors, private sectors, and in the education sector. Cloud computing is the practice of storing, managing, and processing data on a remote network of servers that is hosted on the internet, rather than the actual computer it is accessed through. The practice of cloud computing makes almost any operating system capable of serving the needs of the user, as long as it has internet access, because the requirements for the software or data are provided by the cloud server, rather than the computer itself needing the memory or processing power.

Businesses are quickly transitioning to cloud services as it involves lower upfront investments for technology, hardware takes longer to become obsolete, and core applications can be accessed through any computer, possibly anywhere in the world. However, the wide range of cloud services that are available to a business creates an opportunity for inefficiencies, if the wrong strategy is implemented.

The Complicated World of Cloud Computing
Some cloud services are on private servers, which safeguards security for the data that is stored on them, but costs significantly more to utilize. Some cloud services are provided by public clouds, which is the most cost-efficient way to utilize the cloud, and still provides a industry best practices for security, but that is not infallible. Some businesses to use a hybrid of both public and private cloud services to best meet their needs.

Beyond the subject of private, public, and hybrid clouds, the function of the cloud service is a broad subject. Some cloud services are considered a software as a service (SaaS), some are platform as a service (PaaS), and some are hardware or infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Developing an a la cart plan that comprehensively meets all of the businesses needs is a fine art.

This is why many enterprises utilize cloud brokerage services in strategically developing a cloud communications plan, negotiating with cloud providers to get the best terms, and helping with transition.

To Use a Cloud Brokerage or Develop In-house
With the ever-evolving transition to cloud services within the business world, the role of the IT department has changed dramatically within the last decade. Some businesses are not equipped to handle this themselves and use a cloud brokerage service to assist with cloud planning, transition, and ongoing maintenance. IT organizations that most benefit from cloud brokerage services include:

  • If operational budgets are preferable to transition to cloud services rather than making a capital investment. Creating your own cloud services plan and installing it can be an expensive investment. On the other hand, utilizing cloud services brokers is far less of an investment, although it does not give you a capital asset. Determining the upfront cost a business should spend while transitioning to the cloud, and the level of ownership that the business wants take over varies from one organization to the next. If a business wants their cloud transition to be an operational cost and require less ownership, using the cloud services brokerage is a good idea.
  • If the IT department does not have the expertise that the cloud services brokerage service could provide. Since cloud services are fairly new aspect of IT, many IT departments are not equipped to provide their own cloud brokerage services for their organization.
  • If using a cloud services brokerage can result in a much faster adoption of the cloud than developing it internally. If the organization is eager to get their cloud services strategy in place, using a cloud services brokerage to identify the best course of action, facilitate bringing services online, installing them, dismantling older systems, and managing service level agreements instead of building this in-house will often result in a much faster transition.
  • If the company is going to need a broad range of cloud providers. Sometimes, the function of an organization requires a huge number of cloud services that no single cloud provider can offer (or not for the best price). If this is the case, a cloud services brokerage is a good option, as they will help the business choose the best services for them and put together a comprehensive plan using multiple providers.

Does your organization use a cloud brokerage? We want to hear about your experience below!