Why use a third party broker to buy cloud services?
James Newson, director of Sansom IT
When life gets complicated we quite often turn to brokers to help reduce complexity and make better decisions. In return, the broker gets a fee for helping find the right product, communicating the pros and cons, and ultimately completing the deal. Stocks and shares, insurance, mortgages, energy – brokers provide services wherever a specialist need exists. With so much transition and change in the technology industry, is an independent broker a service that now justifies the investment?
Buying Cloud infrastructure (IaaS) and associated services such as DR, Backup and Restore, desktop etc. is a complex, time-consuming task that recruitment businesses can’t afford to get wrong. The impact of doing so can mean overly complex IT environment, poor performance, higher IT spend and a lack of security leaving your data and business vulnerable. The IT industry is anything but simple and there is a huge amount of change in the market to learn about and then act upon.
Most organisations turn to their internal IT team to buy their IT services. There is, however, a conflict of interest that means the business may not be getting the solution that benefits them in the medium to long term. The perception from an internal IT management position can be that outsourcing elements of your IT environment to cloud service providers (CSPs) is eroding their influence. Traditionally IT departments were almost all technicians that built and supported infrastructure and applications. Now that IT services can be better delivered by a third party, modern IT departments are transitioning to business analysis, vendor management and only the technical skills that are necessary to the core business activity are kept in house. This is a big change and some IT management figures still want to keep the infrastructure and all round technical skills to retain their status as a predominantly technical IT function. This is in conflict with a business strategy that wants to streamline operations and increase agility to react to opportunities.
An independent perspective can help refine IT strategy and bring forward different solutions that will fulfil the needs of the business. Your partner, however, must be truly independent and not a reseller of various CSP’s products. This way you can be assured of getting the right advice and reduce the risk of procuring solutions and partners that are not fit for purpose.
Experience and knowledge of enterprise cloud market is crucial to the success of transforming an IT environment. It’s difficult for internal IT staff to balance managing a busy environment and keep up to date with the products and companies that are really innovating and changing the way we deliver IT services. Opportunities to transform IT delivery and reduce costs are missed because of time constraints, inexperience and lack of market visibility. To make sure this doesn’t happen a business needs to consider outside help.
Lastly, if you are considering using a broker to help transform your IT delivery you need to be aware of different service offerings. Some brokerages sell SaaS platforms that broker the purchasing of IaaS between multiple CSPs. These are great if you know the service you want and you need multiple vendors to service your business. They are, however, limited in scope to offer independent advice. Also, the approach taken to source and procure solutions is absolutely important. You must be satisfied that the service being provided takes into consideration all of your business and technical requirements. If it doesn’t, you are at risk of procuring solutions that are not fit for purpose.
Square pegs and round holes are not compatible and IT is no longer a one size fits all discussion. If your business wants to benefit from the cloud market, then an independent broker can give you the vision and the manpower to do this. As the technology industry continues to evolve, the broker role will become more relevant.
James Newson is the founder of Sansom IT. Sansom IT is an independent consultancy and brokerage that specialises in cloud and utility computing. The company lowers costs and transforms IT delivery by sourcing and procuring cloud infrastructure solutions such as IaaS, DR, backup and restore etc. Sansom IT partners with UCX and 6fusion to provide real financial insights into the economics of your existing infrastructure and simplify the buying process for IaaS.