IBM is looking to jumpstart cloud adoption by launching a catalog of applications aimed at specific vertical industry segments as part of its larger effort to deeply embed IBM services inside business processes.
The expansion of the IBM Cloud Consulting portfolio announced today represents a concerted effort to help organizations make the shift to the cloud using turnkey application solutions that can be quickly deployed on top of the SoftLayer cloud platform that IBM acquired earlier this year.
According to Sanjay Rishi, global leader for IBM cloud consulting services, organizations of all sizes are looking for help in moving to the cloud because they lack the internal expertise required to build, deploy and manage cloud applications. IBM plans to address that need via a series of applications developed by its consulting group that customers can then customize as needed. In particular, Rishi says IBM has developed a massive amount of analytics expertise that will increasingly be delivered as a service within social networking and mobile computing applications. Rishi says the convergence of social networking, mobile computing, analytics and cloud computing, which IBM collectively refers to as SMAC, is requiring organizations to look for external help to capture the millions of dollars in value that those applications can represent to the enterprise.
For IT organizations, this approach has both positive and negative implications. On the plus side, pre-packaged applications running on an IBM cloud provide a way to accelerate the shift to the cloud. On the negative side, it could wind up with IBM consultants bypassing the internal IT department to sell applications directly to the line of business executives.
In the past, IBM senior managers have made commitments to include IT organizations when making cloud pitches directly to line of business executives, just not necessarily first.
Either way, it’s clear that while IT organizations have become much more proficient in the cloud, the resources they have to work with are limited. As such, it’s inevitable that IT organizations will find themselves working with more external service providers in the age of the cloud; it’s just not known yet to what degree that will occur.