Can IBM Deliver Customer Clouds?


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IBM_Cloud_InvestmentsWe all walk around with the cloud in our pockets. Our mobile devices are our connection to the cloud. Computing resources, networking resources, storage, content, applications, and even business processes now run using cloud computing. That means that the actual data we’re accessing is sitting on one or more secure database arrays in one or more locations somewhere in the world. The computers whose cycles we’re accessing are spinning up and down in various server farms somewhere in the world. We don’t care where. We don’t need to care where. Except that, if the data we’re accessing includes personally identifiable information, we DO care. That’s information that we don’t want to cross borders. That’s information we want to know is encrypted. That’s information that we don’t want bad guys to steal or government spies to tap into.

So, the location(s) in which customer data resides does matter. But that doesn’t mean companies should eschew the use of cloud computing for their customer information. In fact, customers’ information is among the first information that belongs in the cloud because customers want access to their information 24×7 from anywhere in the world and from any device. Customers want their information and customer-impacting business process to be synchronized across all the devices they may use to complete actions and to monitor activity status.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been first to gain traction in cloud computing. Amazon now owns more than 50% of the cloud computing market, even among large enterprise accounts. Companies like IBM, Microsoft, HP, and Dell are playing catch-up to Amazon in cloud computing. Microsoft has the opportunity to win the hearts and minds of many enterprise customers and to convince them to host their clouds in Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure.

But it looks to us as if IBM understands the importance of data jurisdiction better than most of its competitors. As IBM announced it surprisingly “open” BlueMix Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering in February, 2014, the company stressed the importance of giving enterprise clients control over where their data resides. IBM’s cloud strategy is also being billed as “MobileFirst” — in other words, it’s being driven by the need for end-customers (business and consumers) to interact and transact using their mobile devices more than their laptop and desktop devices.


Will IBM be successful in migrating its conservative enterprise clients to cloud computing in 2014/2015? Will IBM management realize that “Customer Clouds” might enable IBM to leapfrog Amazon AWS in enterprise cloud?

IBM’s MobileFirst “Customer Cloud” Strategy
Will Enterprise IT Execs Entrust Their Customer Data to IBM’s Cloud & Mobile Tools?
By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO & Sr. Consultant, March 28, 2014

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patricia Seybold
With 30 years of experience consulting to customer-centric executives in technology-aggressive businesses across many industries, Patricia Seybold is a visionary thought leader with the unique ability to spot the impact that technology enablement and customer behavior will have on business trends very early. Seybold provides customer-centric executives within Fortune 1 companies with strategic insights, technology guidance, and best practices.


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