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This is where it gets interesting

For anyone who has experienced as many company-sponsored “team-building” exercises as I have, you know there are four phases to Team Building: forming, storming, norming and performing.

I believe this also applies to technology adoption in the enterprise (and I’m sure Gartner with their “Hype Cycle” would agree with me!). Cloud computing got rolling around 2007 and it has been going through its phases – forming in the sense of the delivery model and its properties, storming as everyone tried to decide if it was just marketing hype or something valuable, and then norming into an accepted option for delivery of enterprise-class workloads and a way to deliver IT more efficiently.

The potential is here for cloud computing to really deliver in a way that not only transforms IT, but can transform a company as well. It is ready to perform in the enterprise…and this is where it gets interesting.

softlayer-logoIBM announced today its intent to acquire SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. – a company that eschews the conventional pigeon-holing of the cloud market and instead leverages a unique set of technologies to deliver applications in a cloud-model that is both public and private, virtual and bare-metal.

SoftLayer offers any combination of deployment options but all with the characteristics of cloud – pay for use, high elasticity, Internet-based, self-service, and pooling of infrastructure. This is the type of flexible, scalable, globally-consistent infrastructure that enterprises have been waiting for in order to fully leverage cloud computing.

Cloud computing in the enterprise is all about workloads. Every application a company runs has its own unique dependencies and requirements. In a previous blog post, I talk about “born in the enterprise” and “born on the cloud” workloads. From the early days of cloud, IBM has recognized the properties of both, and the desire to move whatever workloads make sense to a cloud delivery model. Given the wide-variety of “born in the enterprise” workloads, they are not always easy to migrate. Worse yet, if the cost to move the application to cloud exceeds the return, why bother?

SoftLayer addresses this challenge by providing a wide array of options for hosting applications in the cloud, thereby minimizing migration costs.

SoftLayer opens up the aperture of what can be cloud-enabled. This will, in turn, greatly increase the efficiency of IT, without having to rewrite applications to get that efficiency.

But, what really makes this interesting is the possibilities of what SoftLayer can do to help transform a business. Both IBM and our customers will benefit from the speed of implementation, flexibility of the platform and the avoidance of high up-front infrastructure costs. SoftLayer’s infrastructure, combined with IBM’s platform, software and business process capabilities make a potent combination.

The new era of SMAC (Social Mobile Analytics Cloud) applications will also benefit from this combination. This will not only help transform enterprise IT, but drive business transformation as well.

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