As part of a concerted effort to establish stronger relationships with C-level executives, who are increasingly becoming the primary decision makers about what applications to deploy in the cloud, IBM this week unfurled a comprehensive portfolio of cloud applications designed to appeal to heads of different lines of business within the enterprise.
The latest cloud offerings from IBM are specifically aimed at chief marketing officers, sales and e-commerce leaders, customer support executives, chief procurement officers, chief supply chain officers, general counsels, chief finance officers, human resource officers and, finally, chief information officers.
According to Marc Dietz, director of SmartCloud and DemandTec marketing for IBM, in many instances, IBM sees the IT organization evolving into a broker between different classes of cloud services. However, it’s the line of business executives rather than IT who are selecting the cloud applications that IT will then need to broker, says Dietz.
The end goal, of course, is to reduce the mean time to value for the line of business by dramatically reducing the amount of time it takes to stand up an application by essentially taking on-premise application deployment out of the equation.
For IBM, the unfurling of these applications represents another step in a very long journey toward becoming more aggressive about business process outsourcing. Not too long ago, IBM swore it would never compete directly with independent software vendors. Now, after making some $4 billion in software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, which has led to the development of more than 100 new offerings, IBM is well on its way to becoming one of the biggest providers of enterprise applications in the enterprise.