IBM has announced a set of new cloud solutions designed to meet the needs of C-suite executives while reducing tension between line-of-business leaders and the IT department.
Announced at IBM’s Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2013 in Monaco, the new IBM cloud solutions include a big data and social analytics solution that chief marketing officers (CMOs) can use to get an emotional reading on how customers view their brand.
IBM said that although technology decisions have been made historically by CIOs and IT department heads, the C-suite is adopting cloud computing because they see its ability to transform their front-office processes—marketing, procurement, supplier management, human resources and legal. In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs.
“The cloud opportunity is helping C-suite leaders reshape customer experience," said Paul Papas, global leader for Smarter Commerce at IBM Global Business Services, in a statement. “As part of IBM's digital front office strategy, we see these 100 cloud applications as a way for business leaders to improve customer experience, reach new customers, generate new revenue streams and become more competitive in their industry.”
IBM’s new cloud solutions add to Big Blue’s growing portfolio of cloud capabilities for business as the company continues to beef up its cloud infrastructure—most recently with its intent to acquire SoftLayer Technologies.
The IBM SmartCloud Solutions portfolio now includes more than 100 business functions delivered as a service to help professionals make better decisions, differentiate customer experience, go to market and grow their business, company officials said. These innovations are currently being deployed in the IBM Customer Experience Lab, which is dedicated to helping CEOs and members of the C-suite transform their front-office experience.
IBM’s cloud suites for the C-level executives are aimed at chief marketing officers, sales and e-commerce leaders, customer care and support executives, chief procurement officers, chief supply chain officers, general counsels, chief financial officers and chief human resources officers, as well as chief information officers.
“We’re bringing a set of SaaS [software-as-a-service] solutions that meet the needs of the entire C-suite—from the supply chain to HR to finance and beyond, we’re bringing SaaS to them and working in concert with the CIO,” Marc Dietz, director of IBM SmartCloud Solutions, told eWEEK in an interview.
“I believe this is the first time any company has offered an entire C-suite level-specific cloud suite for every role—not just sales or CRM,” Dietz added. “We focus on every major role.”