IBM Pulse 2012: Cloud computing use to double by 2015

The number of businesses using cloud-based delivery models will double over the next three years, according to research published this week by IBM.

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Business use of cloud computing will more than double between now and 2015, as companies look to drive greater agility and competitive advantage.

So claims research by IBM, published this week at its Pulse event in Las Vegas, which suggested those embracing the cloud will find it more advantageous than their non-cloud-focused peers when it comes to launching new products and services and seeking out new revenue streams.

It's a major transition in the industry that will fundamentally transform how business operate and how they can be successful in the future.

The drivers behind this impending surge in cloud adoption all point towards recognition that cloud computing can add an immense amount of value to many areas of business.

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Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of research respondents cited the ability to increase collaboration with external partners as driving force behind their cloud focus. Costs benefits through vertical integration and new delivery channel and market opportunities were also cited as key drivers by 57 and 56 per cent respectively of business and technology executives.

"Businesses are now looking at leveraging the cloud for business differentiation. This is very exciting," said Angel Diaz, IBM's vice president for software standards.

"It's the movement of cloud as a cost-cutting measure to a competitive differentiator."

While it's clear cloud computing is gaining momentum in the enterprise space, businesses must be mindful of how to approach it from a skills perspective. Indeed, employees need to equip themselves with T-shaped skills, according to Diaz.

"[This is] where you have gone deep in something but you have to be able to surface and understand what business you're in. This is recursive. It happens from the developer and CIO perspective," he said.

"People in the line of business need to be willing to understand the business and people in technology need to be willing to understand a little bit about business. Folks who obtain and use those skills will go far in the organisation."

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Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing for IBM's Tivoli software echoed the results finding, adding that cloud computing was here to stay. He likened its arrival, and its stickiness, to that of the advent of the web and ecommerce.

"A decade later, today, we're seeing the same thing occur with cloud computing," he said. "It's a major transition in the industry that will fundamentally transform how business operate and how they can be successful in the future."

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