Building a Self-Service Cloud Services Brokerage at Scale


Key Takeaways

  • Building a self-service cloud brokerage offers some powerful options for large enterprises to provision and manage cloud services for their internal project teams
  • Planning for a cloud brokerage takes a cross-functional team with customer participation to ensure the brokerage meets  customer requirements at rollout time
  • Standard technologies behind a cloud services brokerage include a cloud management platform (CMP) or service management platform; financial operations solution to monitor cloud spending; and cybersecurity solutions to govern user access and cloud security
  • Building a cloud brokerage is an ambitious project for even large cloud-first enterprises so outsourcing the project to a systems integrator or professional services firm is the best choice

As workforces move to more remote models, the case for a cloud brokerage becomes increasingly apparent for large enterprises to improve their overall cloud management and operations.

An obvious tool is a self-service cloud brokerage where authorized enterprise users can select and provision cloud services to support their software development and infrastructure projects using an internal cloud portal. Establishing a brokerage for your enterprise can help save internal departments’ time by researching services from different cloud service providers (CSPs) and supplying your users’ cloud services to help them achieve their business goals.

Typically, a cloud brokerage also frees up your service desk from handling calls to provision cloud services for internal customers. Your authorized users get access to an online portal and service catalog that automates many of the service desk functions behind going live with cloud services.

Planning for a Cloud Brokerage and forming the Brokerage Team

Planning a cloud brokerage for your enterprise starts with working with your internal customers to understand their business processes, provisioning requirements, cloud budget, and data management requirements.

Self-service cloud brokerage can be a misnomer in some ways. There still needs to be a team behind the cloud brokerage to support its operations. Your current cloud team or teams in inside your enterprise may cover many if not all of these roles:

  • Program/project manager to keep the project on track and within the budget. This manager could also support business operations tasks such as managing relationships with your CSPs.
  • Solution architect(s) that sit at the edge of the business and cloud technologies to help your business units define their cloud services requirements. Hence, the right solutions are available from your brokerage.
  • Business analyst(s) or technical writer(s) who can work with your internal customers to document their business processes “as is” and future state
  • Cloud engineer(s) to tackle the more complex technical configurations that might be out of traditional solution architect skillsets
  • Customer outreach/Communications specialist that communicates to your user communities any notable updates to the cloud brokerage 
  • Cloud economist – a hard to find skillset – who can help set up the internal controls, tools, and cloud budgets to support your internal customers’ cloud services during a given budgetary period. The cloud economist should also play a significant role in developing…

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