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Cloud adoption has been witnessing growing acceptance among organizations—big and small—and the trend continues to show steady growth. As businesses move beyond the testing and development stages and show steady signs of early mainstream adoption, the cloud services brokerage model is playing a major role in helping organizations move to the cloud.

A cloud services broker, or CSB, is a third-party vendor acting as an intermediary between the enterprise purchasing the cloud and the provider of the cloud service. Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner defines a cloud services brokerage as “an intermediary that makes it easier for organizations to consume and maintain cloud services, particularly when they span multiple providers.

As the “as a service” cloud model shows greater acceptance among organizations, the percentage share of cloud services that organizations have purchased through cloud brokers has shown a substantial rise, and the trend is continuing to grow. Gartner predicts that cloud brokerage will soon make up a substantial portion of cloud purchases. “By 2015, at least 20% of all cloud services will be consumed via internal or external cloud service brokerages, rather than directly, up from less than 5% today,” according to Gartner.

Typically, the most critical concern for organizations looking to adopt a cloud-based model is choosing the most appropriate vendor from a range of suppliers while getting the best combination of flexibility, control and cost savings on infrastructure. Depending on the size of the enterprise adopting cloud services, the scope of a CSB’s work may encompass a wide range of strategic, tactical and technological objectives in helping the enterprise move to the cloud—from cloud strategy definition to current application portfolio assessment, legacy application modernization, rationalization and integration for cloud-readiness, and migration to the cloud.

The cloud services brokerage model is still maturing, especially in terms of a CSB market verticalized by specialists, but its growing acceptance among chief technical officers across industries is definitely making it the cornerstone of establishing best-practices in cloud services. This promises to enable many more businesses in moving to the cloud.

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