When it comes to cloud computing, the companies that gain the most publicity are typically Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.com. All have excellent cloud services and are often the ‘goto’ places organisations select when moving to the cloud. If you are considering cloud computing adoption, then IBM is a provider you should give serious consideration to. When I suggest IBM to clients many immediately dismiss them as a company that requires the IT budget of a multi-national organisation not a small or medium sized business. However, because cloud computing is based on a ‘pay per use’ service model, IBM actually have very cost competitive as well as technically innovative cloud computing services which they market as IBM SmartCloud. This is one of the things I love about the cloud – it levels the playing field for IT procurement, enabling small and medium sized organisations to use the very best IT services that before cloud computing were financially prohibitive.
So what does IBM’s SmartCloud offer ? They provide services in all three SPI categories: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). At the IaaS level they enable instantaneous provisioning of new machines and storage. With PaaS then IBM can offer a platform built on their world-class middleware. At the SaaS level, many applications that can give a business competitive advantage. Add to these services the world class security, availability and monitoring IBM can provide as well as analytics, it all provides a strong offering in the cloud computing world. In addition, these offerings can be provided on public, isolated private or hybrid clouds. Just to provide an example of the affordability of the IBM SmartCloud, running a Web application is available at £75 per month including a 20% tax that is deductible for business in the UK. When I mention this figure to clients, they cannot believe that access to IBM services can be achieved at this cost level.
So in summary, cloud computing offers organisations many benefits from improved IT accountability to freeing up skilled IT staff from low level administrative tasks to working on higher-value initiatives. If you would like to learn more about what cloud computing can offer your organisation and the benefits it can bring as well as addressing any concerns why not consider attending Learning Tree’s Hands-On Cloud Computing course where, led by an industry expert you will examine and evaluate the services provided by the major vendors.