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Harnessing the Power of Shadow IT with Cloud Service Brokers

It’s no secret that cloud computing has empowered employees and business groups to bypass internal IT resources and hierarchies to use their own devices and purchase systems and technologies. In response, organizations are establishing "Cloud Service Broker" (CSB) models to provide a unified, multi-cloud/SaaS governance and overall usage experience for their employees and affiliated members that are being used to unleash the creativity and productivity of these new services.

“Cloud sprawl” has been underway for some time as lines of business (LOBs), departments and individuals are increasingly driving cloud/SaaS experimentation and adoption. Users now have more options at consumer-level price points than previously imagined, which encourages grass-roots adoption and innovation. 

This ad-hoc adoption has overturned traditional IT processes associated with governance, procurement, vendor management, administration and security on behalf of a company’s entire organization.

One ready example is the use of Box within an organization. Box is an easy-to-use document collaboration tool that has grown quickly due to its simplicity compared to SharePoint, as well as its collaboration (and security) feature set vs. DropBox. A typical use-cases from a company’s corporate communication office for Box might include document sharing and collaboration with relevant internal teams, such as corporate communications, product groups, and marketing, and external contractors, including a PR agency and consultants.

This type of faster time-to-service provisioning, low cost and pay-as-you-go OPEX model – among other things – ensures that this ad-hoc adoption will continue to grow organically.

The resulting cloud sprawl raises issues for companies in terms of enforcing consistent policies for compliance with governance policies, as well as providing any necessary lifecycle management and support services.  Cloud sprawl is rapidly becoming a more significant IT issue than BYOD, because services adoption can spread virally and many users will have multiple services that wind up housing corporate data.

But rather than casting cloud sprawl as a negative factor for enterprises, it can be viewed as an opportunity to harness new, effective applications, consolidate LOBs, and achieve efficiencies once they are managed under a CSB model.

These CSBs are typically working in hybrid cloud environments where they are creating, managing and delivering their own cloud services along with external cloud offerings.

But they are often challenged with balancing the need for centralized cloud governance without stifling user-driven innovation. This strategy requires an approach that fundamentally reshapes how IT is delivered today, shifting the focus from infrastructure to services aggregation, and mixing and matching the best services for meeting organizations’ current and future needs. For enterprises, the IT as a Service (ITaaS) model is a means for IT organizations to unify cloud services delivery and management so they can speed innovation, collaborate on a global scale, reduce operational costs, and grow the bottom line -- while ensuring consistent cloud governance.

 

Jamcracker, with the Jamcracker Services Delivery Network (JSDN), is providing a CSB model, enabling IT organizations to unify the management, delivery and governance of private/public cloud/application services, establishing a single point of control and spend management for all cloud services consumed internally.  

 

The JSDN enables both internally and externally facing cloud business models. 

Internal Cloud Service Brokers are implemented by IT organizations that are moving to an "IT-as-a- Service” (ITaaS)" business model where they provide self-service AppStores for their employees and/or affiliated members.

External Cloud Service Brokers are focused on monetizing cloud services delivery by aggregating and selling/distributing their own services as well as their partners’ through Cloud/Application Marketplaces.

Employees can have a single point of access to all their cloud services needs, ranging from externally provided cloud services such as SaaS, to internally operated virtualized infrastructure and application services.  And IT can ensure consistent cloud governance and spend management.

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