IBM came out as the top cloud computing provider to businesses, according to a recent survey from research firm IDC.
The survey showed that when it comes to infrastructure as a service (IaaS), businesses ranked IBM as the No 1 provider—beating out competitors such as Cisco, Amazon and Google.
Enterprises ranked Cisco as second, HP third and AT&T fourth, according to IDC. Google came in fifth, Microsoft sixth and Amazon seventh.
The rankings are based on responses from more than 400 U.S.-based companies with more than 1,000 employees. The survey results are based on customer ratings, rather than the number of users or sales.
For the survey, cloud providers were rated on their quality of service for availability, speed of provisioning, simplicity and overall cost. IBM's IaaS platforms include IBM's SoftLayer technology, acquired for $2 billion in July 2013, and IBM Cloud Managed Services.
According to the study, buyers selected IBM as their top overall preference among providers they believe can most effectively provide IaaS, whether private or public. IBM was the leading cloud vendor with 35 percent of first-place votes. By comparison, Amazon carried 13 percent, Microsoft and Google came in around 16 percent.
"We believe this new IDC report based on actual client preferences underscores IBM's overall leadership in cloud computing," Jim Comfort, general manager of cloud services for IBM's Global Technology Services group, said in a statement. "IBM is investing billions in cloud to serve clients with the most comprehensive portfolio in the industry across infrastructure, platform and software as a service.
"We are expanding our global data center footprint, opening our software to the cloud for developers and making cloud services easily accessible through an online cloud marketplace," he continued. "Enterprises trust IBM to manage their business transformation, operations and processes as they move into the future—hybrid cloud era."
IDC ranked IBM as the leader in six of eight major industries covered in the study including financial services, manufacturing, health care, professional services, wholesale and retail, and the public sector or government. IBM also finished in the top three in transportation and telecommunications.
Moreover, more than half of the respondents (52 percent) indicated a strong preference for full-service providers such as IBM for their broad capabilities—professional services, consulting systems integration, custom software development and testing—needed to support buyers moving to cloud services. Less than 5 percent of respondents preferred their vendor to be an online service provider such as Amazon or Google.
IBM has targeted cloud computing as one of its key growth areas as the company continues its transition to higher-value businesses and divests itself from lower-margin businesses like PCs and x86-based servers.
"In the first quarter, we continued to take actions to transform parts of the business and to shift aggressively to our strategic growth areas, including cloud, big data analytics, social, mobile and security," Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement following IBM's first-quarter earnings announcement.