IBM Building Analytics Clouds

IBM is building analytics clouds it says will help its clients make better decisions and better utilize the data that is available to them.

HAWTHORNE, N.Y.-IBM is building analytics clouds to help its clients make better decisions and better use the data that is available to them.

At the launch of the IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Services consulting practice here on April 14, Robert JT Morris, IBM's vice president of services research, told eWEEK, "At the infrastructure level, the pooling of data enabled by the cloud enables us to make different decisions, and in some cases we're starting to build analytics clouds."

For instance, IBM has created a "biobanking cloud" for a client, where the client stores blood, tissue and other biological material in a biobank and the cloud houses data about the material. "So you can run tests and relate back to the progression of diseases," Morris said.

According to the Website BioBank Central:

"A biobank, also known as a biorepository, is a place that collects, stores, processes, and distributes biological materials and the data associated with those materials. Typically, those "biological materials" are human biospecimens-such as tissue or blood-and the "data" are the clinical information pertaining to the donor of that biospecimen. A biobank can also include tissues from other animals, cell and bacterial cultures, and even environmental samples."

Morris said a biobank cloud is often a private cloud, but an IBM partner will at a later time be making "this information available as a public cloud."

So not only has IBM delivered a biobanking cloud, but also a clinical trials cloud, which "allows people to pool data," Morris said. "And by putting it all into a cloud we can avoid situations like Vioxx," the arthritis pain drug that drug maker Merck pulled from the market because of concerns about risks of heart attack and stroke, he said.

Morris said IBM has delivered cloud environments that focus on the ability to analyze and store data, and also clouds that focus only on analytics.

"As far as we're concerned, a cloud has to have three attributes: It has to be shared, network-delivered and managed," Morris said.