Global CIO: IBM's Internal Cloud Projects Could Point To Future Products

IBM's CIO describes six internal cloud initiatives, including one the company has turned into a new business-analytics product for external customers.
4) Desktop Cloud. IBM expects to cut provisioning costs for desktops by up to 30% while also adding in more security and better management. The deployment of the desktop cloud started with 1,200 users in IBM's China Development Lab, and will extend to call centers in the U.S. and India where workers will tap into the Smart Business Desktop Cloud.

5) Storage Cloud. Toole said that with storage demand growing within IBM at 25% per year—figures that he said mirror those in other large organizations as well—IBM is hoping its Virtual Storage Cloud will lead to cost-savings of more than 30%. "To be more efficient and cost-effective, we're implementing a range of storage technologies in the cloud to allow us to put the emphasis on storage utilization instead of just allocation," Toole said.

6) Production Cloud. "We've identified about 20% of our applications portfolio that could go to the private cloud," Toole said, "and so now we're working on ways to optimize the migration to the production cloud." IBM has a total applications portfolio of about 4,500, and has identified about 1,000 apps that could work very well in the cloud. Working with members of IBM's services teams, Toole said his IT organization will begin understandably with apps that are not mission critical.

When my colleague Rob Preston and I met with Toole about 7 months ago at IBM headquarters, he said one of his top priorities was to push the entire organization to evaluate cloud opportunities aggressively and, wherever feasible, to move in that direction as quickly as possible due to the cost savings and simplified management pointed out above across all six cloud initiatives.

And since top IBM executives have been saying for the past year that cloud computing is one of the company's major strategic initiatives, we can expect to see more of these internal dog-food projects be reconfigured and repackaged for the external market as certified Angus Beef cloud applications.


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GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].

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