Asked if he believes IBM is currently a leader in the cloud computing space, Enderle said, "Not yet, but on their current path they should be by year end."
Delivered as a managed cloud service, Cloudant technology ensures that app developers no longer need to be experts in database management, while database administrators (DBAs) can focus on higher-value tasks beyond day-to-day administration.
The acquisition of Cloudant will also strengthen IBM's cloud solutions by providing developers with the tools and resources to build, test, deploy and scale cloud apps on a variety of hosting layers. Cloudant runs on the IBM SoftLayer platform today and extends IBM's recent investment in the SoftLayer cloud infrastructure. As a global service sold in 140 countries, SoftLayer provides an easy cloud "on-ramp" to help clients quickly deploy mobile capabilities with the security, privacy and reliability of private clouds and the economy, flexibility and speed of a public cloud.
"Cloudant's decision to join IBM highlights that the next wave of enterprise technology innovation has moved beyond infrastructure and is now happening at the data layer," said Cloudant CEO Derek Schoettle in a statement. "Our relationship with IBM and SoftLayer has evolved significantly in recent years, with more connected devices generating data at an unprecedented rate. Cloudant's NoSQL expertise, combined with IBM's enterprise reliability and resources, adds data layer services to the IBM portfolio that others can't match."
Cloudant's DBaaS leverages the availability, elasticity and reach of the cloud to create a global data delivery network enabling applications to scale larger and remain available to users wherever they are located.
The acquisition of Cloudant is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Cloudant will join IBM's newly formed Information and Analytics Group led by Senior Vice President Bob Picciano, a business unit within the IBM Software & Systems Group.
IBM also announced a $1 billion investment in its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) implementation, opening its middleware to the cloud.
"IBM's $1billion commitment to PaaS further reinforces CloudBees' long standing vision that empowering developers with an on-demand platform is key to providing businesses access to the next productivity quantum leap," said Sacha Labourey, CEO of CloudBees, maker of a popular Java-based PaaS. "Much like the middleware market a decade earlier, the PaaS market is destined to be a highly strategic multibillion-dollar market.
"However, the shift to public cloud is a tough transition for most legacy software vendors: Pure play cloud vendors force them to make aggressive moves in order to stay relevant as the market shifts," Labourey said. "The bolder the move they make, the more likely it is to cannibalize their existing software revenues. Historically, IBM has been known to be talented at achieving those transitions. The same can't be said yet about some of the other big software vendors."
Steven Harris, senior vice president of products at CloudBees, said both IBM's acquisition of Cloudant and the formation of a new Cloud Foundry Foundation will have an impact on the PaaS market.
"The presence of these enterprise players is natural, because they see an opportunity to embrace cloud within their existing on-premises business model and sales strategy," Harris said. "The transition to delivering as a service is a tough one for them and their customers. Being able to harness continuous delivery and take advantage of public cloud resources are some of the reasons CloudBees' business is growing and you'll continue to see a vigorous PaaS marketplace."