IBM doubles down on Cloud with $1.2 billion bet

IBM, now with SoftLayer, will commit $1.2 billion to expand it global Cloud footprint

IBM is set to commit $US1.2 billion in a significant bid to expand its global Cloud footprint.

The investment, which follows it US$2 billion acquisition of Softlayer, will include a network of datacentres designed to bring clients greater flexibility, transparency and control over how they manage their data, run their businesses and deploy their IT operations in the cloud.

According to a company statement, this year, IBM plans to deliver cloud services from 40 data centres in 15 countries and five continents, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

It will open 15 new centres adding to the existing global footprint of 13 global datacentres from SoftLayer and 12 from IBM.

Among the newest datacentres to launch are China, Washington, DC, Hong Kong, London, Japan, India, Canada, Mexico City and Dallas.

IBM plans to have datacentres in all major geographies and financial centres.

It also plans to expand in the Middle East and Africa in 2015. IBM vice president Erich Clementi said the company was continuing to invest in high growth areas.

"Last year, IBM made a big investment adding the US$2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer to its existing high value Cloud portfolio,” he said.

“Today's announcement is another major step in driving a global expansion of IBM's cloud footprint and helping clients drive transformation." IBM plans to establish SoftLayer as the foundation of its cloud portfolio.

The SoftLayer infrastructure will provide a scalable, secure base for the delivery of cloud services spanning IBM's extensive middleware and SaaS solutions.

SoftLayer's flexibility and global network will also allow faster development, deployment and delivery of mobile, analytic, social solutions as clients adopt cloud as a delivery platform for IT operations and manage their business.

This follows last week's establishment of the Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to the development and commercialization of cloud-delivered cognitive and Big Data innovations.

IBM will also deploy Watson on SoftLayer.

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