Forrester, Synergy Research Name IBM Cloud Leader

Citing the company's prowess in the hybrid cloud space, both Forrester Research and Synergy Research have named IBM a cloud computing leader.

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IBM continues to make strides in the hybrid cloud arena, helping clients integrate existing business processes and drive digital transformation, and it appears the investment is paying off. This week, two independent reports from Forrester Research and Synergy Research named IBM a leader in hybrid cloud management solutions.

These new reports further underscore the momentum IBM has gained among its customers that are increasingly turning to IBM for help connecting cloud services and applications to core systems that may always remain on-premises, due to such factors as regulatory compliance, control and cost.

Leading brands including Marriott Enterprises, Coca Cola Amatil, Shop Direct and the U.S. Army are embracing IBM’s cloud technology and tapping into the company’s expertise in cloud services, storage and analytics to deliver services to their customers.

IBM today announced that Forrester Research named it a leader in its latest Wave report on hybrid cloud management solutions. Forrester analyzed and scored numerous hybrid cloud management solutions and identified IBM as both a “leader” and a “significant software provider”.

The 32-point evaluation criteria used in the report are designed to help infrastructure and operations professionals select the right partner for their hybrid cloud management needs, which includes offering developers a rich library of app and infrastructure templates, APIs, and a choice of multiple public and private clouds.

The report goes on to say that some of the leaders such as IBM “offer deep and broad support for pre-built application and infrastructure templates, powerful provisioning and configuration management, role-based controls, and rich cost, performance, and capacity management features.”

Hybrid clouds are gaining widespread market adoption because they take advantage of existing IT resources while integrating into public and private cloud environments. This gives organizations greater control of their data, as well as improved application performance and other benefits.

Meanwhile, IBM also today announced today that analyst firm Synergy Research ranked Big Blue as a top performer and leader in the private and hybrid cloud space for 2015.

The recent global cloud market analysis showed that the total spend on infrastructure hardware and software to build cloud environments exceeded $60 billion worldwide. Spending on a range of public, private and hybrid cloud services exceeded $50 million billion. Spending on private and hybrid cloud services is growing at 45 percent annually, the study showed.

Moreover, Synergy Research’s findings around Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and hybrid and private cloud, confirms IBM’s position as one of the market leaders in cloud. Use of hybrid and private clouds continues to pick up momentum.

IBM’s hybrid cloud successes include its recent deal with Giant Eagle. Giant Eagle, one of the U.S.’s largest privately held multi-format food, fuel and pharmacy retailers with locations across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, is overhauling its IT infrastructure with a hybrid cloud solution from IBM Cloud. The solution includes building out application test/development as well as disaster recovery environments.

“Our goals to reposition our technology infrastructure were to achieve the scalability, security, reliability, resiliency and efficiency that the advancements in the technology are making possible without making significant capital investments,” said Jeremy Gill, senior director of technology infrastructure at Giant Eagle. “IBM’s full range of offerings from public cloud, private cloud and bare metal and robust security capabilities were their competitive differentiators.”

In another IBM cloud deal, Marriott announced it is adopting an IBM-based hybrid cloud environment. Moving to the cloud will help Marriott offer faster digital services to Web-savvy guests and uncover insights about traveler preferences for its more than 4,000 properties across the globe, the company said.

“Marriott continually transforms its technology to ensure we provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for guests throughout their entire stay,” said Bruce Hoffmeister, global CIO of Marriott International, in a statement when the deal was announced last year. “IBM Cloud provides the analytics to see early-stage data patterns and the scale and flexibility to enable timely, innovative new services that will meet guests’ expectations in a predominantly digital world.”

Tractor Supply Company, a large rural lifestyle retail store chain in the U.S., is working to revamp and migrate the company’s online retail operation to a hybrid cloud solution from IBM. The solution will give customers an easier way to connect, browse and shop for goods and services online, according to the company.

“At Tractor Supply Company, we are committed to deepening the relationships we have with our customers, and the newly redesigned website allows us to do that in an impactful way,” said Rob Mills, senior vice president and CIO of Tractor Supply Company, in a statement. “IBM Cloud is more agile and has management capabilities that let us respond quickly to market and individual customer needs, the direct result of which is a better customer experience.”