The analyst firm notes IT spending on public cloud services is growing worldwide, more than five times faster than overall IT spending.
The cloud is being used to provide a broader range of services, says Gartner. These range from testing infrastructure and supporting business processes, to “cloud bursting” to manage peak production loads, and providing major computing capabilities.
But turning to the public cloud is not like outsourcing, which is having a different firm do the same thing as IT, yet controlled by IT, according to the new Gartner report on Preparing the In-house IT Organisation for Public Cloud.
It is about changing the supply model from a high degree of control by in-house IT to a more arm’s-length relationship with a megavendor - such as Amazon and Microsoft - supplying a standardised service to the market as a whole.
As CIOs shift to a more service-oriented stance, they need to move into public cloud in two stages: Initially, by using these services in a focused way, and then embarking on a more demanding expedition, where public cloud becomes the backbone of enterprise IT services.
To create a capability that can forge multiple public cloud services into a reliable, sustainable and repeatable process, CIOs should transform IT into an in-house cloud services brokerage (CSB), according to the report written by members of the CIO and executive leadership research group at Gartner led by Andrew Rowsell-Jones.
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The CSB is an internal IT function that fulfils one or more of three functions:
Aggregation: Bringing together multiple services in scale, such as cloud-scale provisioning, consistent management view, single sign-on, unified billing, unified management, ease of access, customer support and SLA management.
Integration: Bringing multiple cloud services together and making them work together to deliver an integrated result. Capabilities in this area include integration of cloud endpoints in scale, governance, community management, and migration skills.
Customisation: Altering or adding to the capabilities of a service to perform its function, such as layering new data and process functions, visibility and analytics, or incorporating a new look and feel to the service.
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Long term, as adoption of public cloud increases, the enterprise reaches a tipping point where in-house IT becomes a cloud services brokerage for the entire organisation, according to the report. The latter will shield the business peers from public cloud’s complexity and off-putting qualities such as security and service continuity.
An effective CSB will have the following roles, according to the Gartner report.
Vendor management — identifying potential suppliers, analysing financial deals, negotiating contracts, managing vendor relationships
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Security/compliance — identifying and managing security and privacy issues of public cloud, setting compliance standards for end-user conduct, acting as liaison with regulators, auditing.
Technology advancement — planning the future of technology, prototyping, agile development, DevOps, systems integration.
Business enhancement/relationship management — business process consulting, project management, agile development and prototyping, support for business case creation and analysis.
Architecture development — developing blueprints for service integration, setting policies and standards.
IT leadership — fusing business/IT strategy/cloud services, managing CSB resources, and managing relationships with senior stakeholders.
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