IBM to expand client base for cloud services

Pune: IBM will focus beyond its top 200 enterprise customers for its cloud business in India as more clients start hosting applications on the internet, a senior company executive told ET. Until now, the company had focused on the top 200 enterprises for its cloud offerings.

“On a smaller base, we’re seeing triple-digit revenue growth in the commercial segment as we focus on acquiring more customers. Meanwhile, we’re going deeper with existing enterprise customers,” said Vikas Arora, IBM cloud and cognitive software leader for India region.

This includes work done in setting up a security operations centre for the Bombay Stock Exchange and developing a managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for IT firm Happiest Minds.

Arora said most enterprises are now at Chapter 2, or moving the remaining 80% of their applications to the cloud. This is harder than Chapter 1, which entailed running proofs of concept and moving primary customer-facing applications to the cloud. The second phase of applications is more crucial to the business and is integrated with other applications, making it a more complex process.

For IBM, the cloud business in India has been growing in double digits, with areas like data and security solutions also growing in double digits. While the firm does not provide country-specific data, the cloud business globally comprises a quarter of IBM’s revenue at $19.5 billion. The hybrid cloud opportunity is pegged at $1.2 trillion by 2020, and the company has stated that it intends to be the leading player in this space. IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat earlier this year will play an important role as it will help enterprises deploy and run data and applications on-premise through private and multiple public cloud platforms, and give access to Red Hat’s open technology tools.

According to Arora, the next chapter of the cloud journey will be defined by the hybrid cloud. “We expect that 10 years from now, only 40-60% of the world’s data will be on public cloud,” he said.