by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : March 15, 2014
GREG MUNDELL is senior vice president of business development at InfoZen, a cloud broker. He is also a 2014 Federal 100 award winner. Commentary | GREG MUNDELL Several years ago, Ben Af eck starred in a movie called "Boiler Room." In the lm, a New York brokerage house buys up large amounts of stock in companies with low stock prices or a limited amount of outstanding shares. The shares are then considered "in- house" assets. The stock brokers push clients to buy the assets, claiming that they represent exciting investment opportunities, rather than help the clients nd investments that are best suited to their needs. The results for the clients are devastat- ing. Although this was just a movie, it was based on the real-life prac- tices of a brokerage house called Stratton Oakmont. (The recent lm "The Wolf of Wall Street" is based on the memoir of one of the rm s founders.) Now, unfortunately, it appears the federal cloud space could be heading in that direction as well. Many large systems integrators have entered the cloud comput- ing marketplace as cloud service providers (CSPs). Several have invested the time and money to receive highly coveted certi cation under the government s Federal Risk and Authorization Manage- ment Program, which provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Because not all CSPs provide all required platforms and services, many federal agencies are seeing the advantages of using a cloud broker to buy services from mul- tiple CSPs. And now some CSPs are interested in becoming cloud brokers as well. The simple de nition of any type of broker is an independent agent who brings together a buyer and a seller. So the question arises: How can a broker that is also a CSP truly be independent? What s to stop a CSP turned cloud broker/integrator from sell- ing "in-house" cloud services rather than those from other CSPs that might have a better mix of services for that particular customer? Even if a company says its CSP business is completely separate from its bro- ker business, there is still a serious perception issue. Many large government depart- ments already ght a generally uphill battle to obtain buy-in from their component agencies on a centralized approach to IT. That persuasive effort will be much more challenging for a department that is planning an enterprisewide cloud procurement if the compo- nent agencies must simultaneously be convinced that a CSP can be an independent broker. Preventing vendor lock-in while providing the ability to shift work- loads to different providers is one of the greatest bene ts of working with a cloud broker. Unfortunately, all those advantages are put at risk when the broker is not indepen- dent but instead is a seller as well. Furthermore, CSPs in a broker role would not have the same inde- pendence to incorporate offerings from the growing list of providers in the cloud service marketplace. There could be complications resulting from a CSP brokering another CSP that essentially is a direct competitor. And a non- broker CSP could be reluctant to enter into a formal working rela- tionship with a CSP turned broker out of concern that its competitor would gain too many insights into its business practices and solu- tions. And once again, the custom- er agency s interests could suffer from the limited options. Furthermore, what happens when service-level agreements are not met? Can you imagine the nger-pointing that would occur? For the sake of government customers and CSPs, it is essential for organizations to stay out of the cloud "boiler room." Firms should be CSPs or independent cloud bro- kers, but not both. ■ Watch out for the cloud 'boiler room' If cloud providers are also brokers, can an agency be sure its interests are put rst? What's to stop a CSP turned cloud broker/ integrator from selling "in-house" cloud services rather than those from other CSPs? March 15, 2014 FCW.COM 13
March 30, 2014