Cloud Service Brokerage – The Missing Link for Government Cloud Adoption

By Ilyas Iyoob, PhD, Gravitant

Dr. Iyoob is presenting at our upcoming workshop: Building the Canadian G-Cloud.

This week’s top story in FEDConnects says that “General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) and NJVC are leading the way when it comes to helping agencies meet the Cloud First mandates” in the US.  Wait a minute…  didn’t the CATAAlliance just launch the G-Cloud First for Canada campaign a few days ago as well?

What if we leverage the success of GDIT and NJVC for successful G-Cloud First adoption in Canada?

Why Cloud Services Brokerage?

CalloutGDIT and NJVC are large Service Integrators for the US government.  Their experience with IT for the military as well as the intelligence community led them to believe that the agencies would have a tough time with Cloud First…  unless…  there’s a way for them to quickly and securely test cloud solutions in a controlled environment.

However, the agencies face a number of issues.  Here’s a short list of them:

  • There are so many certified providers out there.  How do we know which of them will truly satisfy our IT needs?
  • There is no standardization of terminology.  How do we know what to order from the provider?
  • Each provider has a different pricing model.  How do we compare offerings and providers side-by-side?
  • Each provider has a different process for provisioning.  How do we quickly provision resources?
  • The on-demand pricing model is very unpredictable.  How do we know what the actual bill would be?
  • There are many people in the organization with access the resources.  How do we control this access?

As a result, Gartner identified this as the critical piece in making the cloud consumable and coined the term Cloud Service Brokerage (CSB).  It is the job of the CSB to answer these questions, and well established CSBs even have self service portals for their customers.

How will it work?

Consumers access the CSB portal and begin designing their architecture using virtual resources on a canvas.  Then, they compare the cost of this architecture across providers and select one or more providers.  A sample bill of materials is shown to the consumer, and once the consumer approves it, a push of a button is all it takes to automatically provision all the virtual resources across all the providers simultaneously.

Once the resources are provisioned, consumers have the ability to customize access to each resource.  Based on monitored utilization data, consumers are also given recommendations to reduce cost and continually operate in an optimal manner.

Has it been done before?

Gravitant’s CloudMatrix technology currently powers the Texas Cloud Services Portal for the Texas government.  Seeing this success, NJVC established a branded cloud portal using CloudMatrix as the underlying technology and GDIT followed soon after.  And within a year, both NJVC and GDIT have been branded as leaders in helping agencies meet the Cloud First mandate.

How does this apply to Canada?

Seeing as Canada is in the initial stages of G-Cloud First, it only makes sense to adopt cloud brokerage from the very beginning and propel Canada into the forefront of cloud adoption.

Let us assume that we have the following constraints;

  • all data and infrastructure should be housed within Canadian borders,
  • only Canadian cloud providers should be available to consumers, and
  • access to the brokerage portal should be controlled.

CSB technology such as CloudMatrix should integrate with Canadian cloud providers, aggregate managed services from 3rd party Canadian providers, and customize to Canadian cloud requirements.

In other words, Cloud Services Brokerage is the key to operationalizing G-Cloud First in Canada.

Here’s an example of a CSB portal for the government of Ontario.

GCModel

For a more concrete discussion on CSB for Canada with lessons learned from the state of Texas, please join us on June 20th at the Toronto Business Development Center.  Register here

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