Traditional in-house, on-premises IT is only one of many potential avenues to supply important services to a business. Today, there are varied alternatives in a third-party outsourced data center or even the public cloud. The server racks at HQ are no longer the only game in town, which means data center admin is no longer the only viable IT career path.
To remain relevant to the business, IT professionals must act as internal IT service brokers who match the most effective and price-conscious offerings with the users or business units that need them, and ensure that the resulting service capacity and quality meet requirements.
An IT service broker helps decide which option is best for the business, and does not simply insist upon internal IT resources. For example, a department needs archival storage for data each month. An IT service broker evaluates the storage requirements, compares suitable options -- in-house data storage versus Amazon Web Services' Glacier in this example -- and presents the department with a reliable cost and risk assessment for each approach. The goal is to guide the business to a suitable technology or service.
The IT service broker can also bring cloud expectations in line with reality. For example, a business found a public cloud application deployment appealing, but the IT service broker's analysis showed that an in-house deployment would actually be less expensive over the long term and better-suited to the company's availability demands and regulatory compliance obligations. Similarly, an enterprise resource planning application deployed and supported in-house requires licensing, ongoing maintenance and support, while the software-as-a-service offering is managed by a third party -- Salesforce is a prime example of a SaaS tool that works equally as well as installed systems without the secondary costs.