Why Canada Should Adopt a Cloud Brokerage Model

Last week I wrote on my blog about Cloud Brokerage, and its importance to the evolving cloud landscape. I quickly realized afterwards that cloud brokerage is something that will not only be an important part of the cloud model moving forward but something that Canada is perfectly positioned to lead on a global scale.

Why? Because the unique dynamic of the Canadian telecommunications market coupled with our ability to work with a wide range of vendors in both security and IT services, all under one of the strictest regulatory environments in the world. But why cloud brokerage?

Gartner has been touting the need for cloud brokers for years, primarily to aid the cloud market in three key areas; cloud service aggregation, arbitrage and intermediation. As the Canadian market starts to transition to a cloud model (either hybrid or public), there will be an abrupt gap in internal resources available to aid with the transition. Right now the mere idea of adopting cloud services is in the early stages within organizations, with many leaders left trying to understand how they are going to find the internal resources to aid in the initiative. Unless there is a large in-house deployment of virtualization and the resources to support it, the idea of virtualizing and moving internal systems into an off-site location is a huge undertaking and the knowledge curve can be daunting. So naturally, the organization is going to start to look at its vendor ecosystem for support.

What if a provider could offer the organization a one-stop shop for the entire project, and act as the project manager? This is exactly the value a cloud provider could offer as a cloud broker.

The role of the cloud broker in this case would be three-fold; first, the cloud broker would be able to research the marketplace and provide a fine-tuned list of services that meet the objectives of the customer, ranging from regulation requirements to location and disaster recovery services, and further onto applications and security offerings and deliver them on a single platform. The cloud broker could also layer their own in-house services such as networking or unified communications, and offer all services on a single monthly bill, with the “one throat to choke” model for customers. The evolution of the cloud brokerage model would see these players becoming the regulators of the market as they would control the demand and service requirements as the largest distributors of these services. If a service does not meet the standards of the cloud broker, the service could be substituted with another service without service interruption to the end customer.

The key markets for cloud brokerage in Canada would include large, heavily regulated organizations and entities including government services, financial institutions, education and manufacturing. These also happen to be the key customers of the large telecommunications companies in Canada, who are the best positioned to transition from offering standard telco services to evolving into a full-fledged cloud service broker. The end customers benefit from a single point of contact and engagement for the entire project, while the broker is able to create a high-margin MRR based business leveraging services that might already exist in-house in different product portfolios.

So where do we begin this transition? We are currently still in the early stages of adopting a cloud brokerage model in Canada, but there are some great examples of international organizations successfully leveraging this model including RightScale and Cloudkick, and the clear alignment of some of the larger global telecommunication organizations starting to move to a similar model. For Canada, the first steps are already taking place, with providers aligning themselves with key cloud services and offering the services bundled with in-house products ranging from IP services and security to unified communications. I expect over the next 2-5 years, we will see greater adoption of the cloud brokerage model, and the ability to start offering these services on a larger scale to Canadian and global organizations.



  1. […] is a topic started here by Andrea on our Canadian blog, which we will continue here to focus on the best practices required […]

  2. […] Andrea Bilobrk will also be a guest speaker, providing an introduction to her upcoming book Deconstructing Cloud. Andrea was one of our first writers on this blog, including writing on this specific opportunity for Why Canada Should Adopt A Cloud Brokerage Model, […]

  3. […] Andrea Bilobrk will also be a guest speaker, providing an introduction to her upcoming book Deconstructing Cloud. Andrea was one of our first writers on this blog, including writing on this specific opportunity for Why Canada Should Adopt A Cloud Brokerage Model. […]

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