Tradi­ti­o­nally, the role of IT was simple.  Tech­no­logy Euro’s were centra­lized under the CIO to manage.  The CIO became the traffic cop, deciding whose projects would be deployed and what tech­no­logy could best be inte­grated effi­ciently within the existing infra­struc­ture.

How the trans­for­ma­tion to the Cloud is shifting Roles

But as cloud computing continues to evolve, the role of IT is shifting. Today, we’re witnes­sing the rise of the IT broker, a person who is constantly balancing workloads between internal solutions and external providers.  More time is devoted to nego­ti­a­ting better deals, finding better solutions and essen­ti­ally serving as a liaison between his or her company and cloud vendors. IT’s role as a middle man is far more important.

Recent research indicated that roughly one out of every four companies expected to have an IT broker role by the end of 2014. Further, with cloud computing on the rise with no end in sight — a global market that brought in $131 billion in 2013 is expected to grow to $180 billion by the end of 2015—companies are becoming incre­a­singly focused on devel­o­ping such roles.

The Rise of the IT Broker

Now, thanks to the rise of cloud computing and the freedom from vendor lock-in that comes with it, busi­nesses don’t have to worry about spending precious capital dollars on equipment that may very well become outdated quickly as tech­no­logy progresses. Rather, they can choose to get their computing resources from the cloud, paying for only the resources they need on a contrac­tual basis, which might even be as temporary as month-to-month.

As the demand for cloud services escalates and more vendors appear on the scene research indicates that 75 percent of companies are leve­r­a­ging at least one cloud-based platform the price for the services continues to fall to the earth. Coupled with the fact that companies aren’t bound to vendors, busi­nesses are able to find more attrac­ti­vely priced alter­na­tives on a fairly regular basis. Addi­ti­o­nally, as tech­no­logy progresses, IT brokers might look for solutions that offer more features and func­ti­o­na­lity.

In its role as a broker, the IT staffer must now become a central command center of sorts, consis­tently moni­to­ring IT usage both in-house and from outside providers in order to under­stand the needs of the enter­prise and determine what solutions are available to meet those demands most effec­ti­vely.

Keeping Your Fingers on the Pulse of Your IT Usage

As a broker, IT will want to place a keen eye on cloud financial offerings. Part of a company’s needs may be satisfied with on-premises equipment, some may be met with a private cloud and others may be addressed by a public cloud provider. Addi­ti­o­nally, IT brokers have to choose which type of deploy­ment model best suits their company, the specific apps needed and whether the need for those apps is short term or long term. Once busi­nesses determine the right combi­na­tion of cloud computing services, IT brokers can sift through the wealth of infor­ma­tion at their finger­tips to make approp­riate decisions.

Cloud Service Broker

As a broker, IT must be able to synthe­size demand on both internal and provider equipment, marrying costs from all sources. Speci­a­lized  cloud financial mana­ge­ment solutions provide brokers with the insight to under­stand the precise needs of a business based on resource usage  while doing compa­risons based on what they currently pay versus what they would pay by part­nering with Cloud Provider A, B or C, for example.

What’s more, cloud financial mana­ge­ment tools aggregate the IT usage across an enter­prise, meaning acti­o­nable data is recorded for IT brokers to leverage — no matter what a depart­ment is doing or what platform they are using. A business might have its payroll processed by one vendor, emails hosted by another, data stored by a public cloud provider, and critical appli­ca­tions main­tained in-house. In other words, when it comes to tech­no­lo­gical infra­struc­ture, there’s a lot more of a mix. To under­stand which solutions really work best for any company, the role of IT needs to shift to under­stand business needs.

Today’s IT depart­ments are charged with the difficult task of managing evolving tech­no­lo­gies acti­vi­ties and knowledge. To do this effec­ti­vely, they need to develop and cultivate new rela­ti­ons­hips that help grant their companies access to the most compe­ti­tive cloud computing solutions without compro­mi­sing on func­ti­o­na­lity. The rate of change in the cloud is so rapid that IT has to shift into a consul­ting role that is always brokering and matching the demands of the enter­prise. And to do that most effec­ti­vely, brokers should consider making use of robust cloud financial mana­ge­ment solutions.

Source: Cloud cruiser

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