In today’s immature cloud brokerage marketplace, there is a big misconception that cloud brokerage is primarily about finding the least expensive virtual machine when it really should be about figuring out the best-fit environment for your workload.

In determining the right environment, cost is one factor to consider among many. Other factors include the following:

  • Organizational strategy and goals
  • Business, performance and security requirements
  • Constraints and dependencies
  • Current application architecture

Any good cloud brokerage service will have a strong, upfront decision support mechanism that allows for efficient analysis of a workload’s requirements based on these factors. This analysis should then lead to the development of a holistic workload profile.

Once this profile is developed, the decision support platform should be able to generate a high-level business case analysis for the workload’s best-fit hosting environment based on costs, benefits and risk scores. Hosting alternatives include cloud versus non-cloud and public cloud versus private cloud environments.

The decision support platform should provide this best-fit assessment in a matter of minutes or hours rather than days or weeks.

Only with this fundamental input and analysis can a cloud brokerage service live up to its potential of transforming how workloads are efficiently and cost-effectively placed into the right environment with the appropriate change in architecture.

CGI’s Application Portfolio Management Framework (APMF) helps organizations modernize, transform and optimize their application portfolios. Many of our clients have asked for decision support help on their journey to the cloud and, in response, CGI recently added an Application Cloud-Fit Assessment module to our APMF that provides for cloud-based application profiling and the best-fit hosting environment analysis described above.

This new module is designed to highlight potential issues, identify risks and opportunities, and translate requirements into service level objectives. It can help with one-time assessments and the development of an initial workload transition roadmap. It now serves as an integral part of CGI’s cloud brokerage service offering.

CGI has also developed a code scanning tool called NIMBUS 360, which is designed to scan a client’s application code and identify common code patterns that are known to cause an application to not function properly when migrated to a cloud environment. Once identified, the suspect code is highlighted, catalogued and prioritized. NIMBUS outputs extensive reports such as numbers and types of issues found, criticality, and level of effort to remediate.

Together, these tools provide invaluable decision support insight to our clients, helping them to architect the right cloud solutions in the right cloud environment and achieve all of the many benefits of effective cloud brokerage.

Learn more about CGI’s cloud capabilities on I also want to thank my colleague, Jeff Vandervort, for collaborating with me on this blog.

About this author

Ralf Schlenker

Ralf Schlenker

As a member of CGI’s Global Emerging Technology team, Ralf coordinates CGI strategy, messaging and capabilities for key areas such as intelligent automation, robotic process automation, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, high-performance computing, and hybrid cloud. With CGI for 20 years and based ...