IBM's Cloud Consulting Services Portfolio Expands

IBM is also developing a catalog of fast-start industry offerings delivered as a service for cloud-based applications.

IBM has announced the expansion of its Cloud Consulting Services portfolio with a customizable cloud strategy offering for industry and the line-of-business buyer.

This move, announced Dec. 5, extends IBM's high-value portfolio of cloud software and services. The company is also developing a catalog of fast-start industry offerings delivered as a service for cloud-based applications.

"Delivering more personalized services to customers with greater speed is a significant priority for businesses today," Sanjay Rishi, managing partner for IBM Cloud Consulting Services, said in a statement. "In the era of cloud, the agenda of front-office decision-makers places a premium on flexibility and the ability to experiment. With these new cloud offerings, IBM will help front-office leaders rapidly deploy business content for business value."

This announcement follows a recent independent evaluation by IDC that named IBM an industry leader in cloud professional services in the IDC MarketScape on cloud professional services. IDC forecasts the worldwide cloud professional services market to show a five-year compound annual growth rate of 24.8 percent between 2012 and 2017.

The IBM fast-start industry solutions—hosted on a private cloud using SoftLayer and offered as a managed service through IBM Global Business Services—are designed to meet the growing customer demand for rapid deployment, implementation and experimentation.

IBM will deliver this as-a-service model to help customers in vertical industries—such as banking, insurance, retail, telecom and energy and utilities—have key business applications up and running very quickly without the need to provision additional infrastructure and compute power. This can reduce the time it takes to deploy new applications from weeks or months to a matter of hours or days, IBM said. The solutions draw on the expertise of IBM business consultants in vertical industries, domain and business processes, open standards and IT infrastructure.

IBM said, to date, the IT industry has primarily focused on one-size-fits-all approaches to migrating workloads and applications to the cloud—scalable computing purchased on a usage model. This shift extends the value of cloud to line-of-business leaders as an engine for growth that can accelerate business outcomes.

In fact, a recent IBM survey indicates that during the next three years, the cloud's strategic importance to top decision-makers, from CEOs and chief marketing officers (CMOs) to HR, finance and procurement executives, is poised to double from 34 percent to 72 percent—surpassing their IT counterparts at 58 percent.

To help enterprises convert to a cloud environment, IBM offers a cloud adoption framework and the IBM Cloud Workload Analysis Tool to analyze an existing environment and determine the cloud computing model best suited for the business model. Using the tool, IBM consultants help the client identify and prioritize the business areas and workloads that, when migrated to a cloud computing model, deliver the most benefit by reducing costs and improving service delivery.