ARMONK, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the expansion of its Cloud Consulting Services portfolio with a customizable cloud strategy offering for industry and line of business buyers, extending IBM's high value portfolio of cloud software and services. The company is also developing a catalog of fast-start industry solutions delivered as a service for cloud-based applications.
"Delivering more personalized services to customers with greater speed is a significant priority for businesses today," said Sanjay Rishi, Managing Partner, IBM Cloud Consulting Services. "In the era of cloud, the agenda of front office decision makers places a premium on flexibility and the ability to experiment. With these new cloud offerings, IBM will help front office leaders rapidly deploy business content for business value."
To date, the IT industry has primarily focused on "one size fits all" approaches to migrating workloads and applications to the cloud – scalable computing purchased on a usage model. This shift extends the value of cloud to line of business leaders as an engine for growth that can accelerate business outcomes. In fact, a recent IBM survey reports that during the next three years, the cloud's strategic importance to top decision makers, from CEOs and CMOs to HR, finance and procurement executives, is poised to double from 34 percent to 72 percent – surpassing their IT counterparts at 58 percent.
In order to fully realize the benefits of converting to a cloud environment, enterprises need to build a solid business-based cloud strategy and clear implementation roadmap. IBM utilizes a proven methodology and assessment tools tailored to each client's desired business outcomes. For instance, IBM offers a unique cloud adoption framework and the IBM Cloud Workload Analysis Tool to analyze an existing environment and determine the cloud computing model best suited for the business model. Using the tool, IBM consultants help the client identify and prioritize the business areas and workloads that, when migrated to a cloud computing model, deliver the most benefit by reducing costs and improving service delivery.
To further jump-start a client's deployment to the cloud, IBM is developing a catalog of pre-integrated solutions that address priority business needs industry by industry, while making cloud easier to adopt and consume for line of business leaders.
Fast-Start Industry Solutions
The IBM fast-start industry solutions, which are hosted on a private cloud using SoftLayer and offered as a managed service through IBM Global Business Services, are designed to meet the growing demand from clients for rapid deployment, implementation and experimentation.
This as-a-service model enables clients in vertical industries – such as banking, insurance, retail, telecom and energy and utilities – to have key business applications up and running very quickly without the need to provision additional infrastructure and compute power. This advantage significantly reduces the time it takes to deploy new applications from weeks or months to a matter of hours or days, and accelerates time-to-value for their business.
The solutions draw on the deep expertise of IBM business consultants in vertical industries, domain and business processes, open standards and IT infrastructure to help clients build, execute and manage their applications and systems on the cloud.
Insurance Service Hub Cloud
A marquis example of the fast-start industry solutions is the IBM Insurance Service Hub Cloud – a communication platform on the cloud that connects health insurance companies with multiple data providers such as clinics and physicians, as well as customers via their mobile devices. Managed and hosted by IBM, the Insurance Service Hub Cloud replaces the traditional bilateral paper-based data exchange with digital information delivered in one standardized interface. The platform provides a secure, reliable base of complete and accurate data to drive faster, more efficient business processes, such as invoice provisioning, claims processing and reimbursement.
The shared cloud computing platform comes with analytics for semantic analysis of diagnostic texts, and with a mobile communication infrastructure that is fundamental to an insurer's ability to redefine customer relationships and improve the customer experience.
More than a dozen clients are currently leveraging the IBM Insurance Service Hub Cloud's pay-per-use model to improve communication management and drive innovation, including ERGO as first mover for its leading health insurance branch in Germany, and Generali for its health insurance subsidiary, Central.
Transforming Human Resources with Cloud
Among the major operational functions inside organizations that are being transformed by cloud technology is human resources. Globalization, mobility, acquisitions and entry into new markets are dramatically changing the workplace. As a result, chief human resource officers (CHROs) are becoming key partners in delivering value and competitive advantage in support of the business' strategy and growth. Software as a service (SaaS) solutions and other cloud-based services for human capital management (HCM) are enabling HR departments to meet rapidly changing needs, reshaping how they recruit, train, engage, evaluate and reward employees.
To help HR departments justify a move to the cloud, IBM is developing an HR cloud accelerator, a focused yet flexible offering designed to provide CHROs with a strategy and roadmap for achieving the business benefits, as well as the supporting rationale, by deploying a cloud-based HCM solution versus staying with their existing on-premise solution.
For example, IBM helped a global supermarket chain with more than 68,000 employees move from a highly customized on-premise HCM tool to single global cloud-based solution to support the client's future growth plans. As result, the client has been able to launch self-service talent management processes; improved performance, compensation and succession planning, and enhanced its workforce analytics capabilities, all while reducing overall costs.
Today's announcement follows a recent independent evaluation by IDC that named IBM an industry leader in cloud professional services in the IDC MarketScape on cloud professional services. IDC forecasts the worldwide cloud professional services market to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.8 percent between 2012 and 2017.
To meet the growing global demand for cloud consulting services, IBM is expanding its portfolio of offerings to address the full spectrum of today's client requirements, from fast and simple entry with a single application to the most advanced enterprise-wide implementations of cloud. IBM's fast-start industry solutions join its growing portfolio of cloud services and capabilities, including the recent launch of its Cloud Suites for the C-Suite, a fast-growing catalog of 110 roles-based SaaS applications that help C-suite leaders and their departments drive better business results from cloud offerings tailored to their functions.
IBM Cloud Computing
IBM is the global leader in cloud with an unmatched portfolio of open cloud solutions that help clients build, rent or tap into cloud capabilities. No other company has the ability to bring together unique industry knowledge and unmatched cloud capabilities, that have already helped more than 20,000 clients around the world. Today, IBM has more than 100 cloud SaaS solutions, 37,000 experts with deep industry knowledge helping clients transform and a network of more than 25 global cloud delivery centers. Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $6 billion in acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives. Most recently IBM acquired SoftLayer with more than 21,000 clients in 140 countries to further build out its IaaS portfolio with an easy and secure on ramp to cloud integrating IBM SmartCloud.
For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/cloud.
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Leslie J. Monreal-Feil