Though there are five big cloud service providers, most of the cloud talk revolves around Amazon, Microsoft and then Google. Not much time do we spend on talking about IBM or Oracle. Little noise about Oracle is understandable because their Infrastructure as a Service offering is just off the starting block, and they are more of a SaaS player, now but IBM is huge cloud player in its own right.

IBM’s Analytics unit, which has a mix of SaaS as well as on-premise offerings, showed $4.5 billion in revenues during the most recent quarter, while Cloud-as-a-Service run rate was $8.6 billion, 61% growth compared to the prior period.

But one of the reasons why we don’t hear much about IBM is because the clientele they concentrate on is large scale enterprises, and also because of IBM’s focus on Hybrid, Private and Managed Cloud. Amazon and Microsoft do offer to help companies taking the hybrid route, but their focus has always been on the Public Cloud – AWS more so than Microsoft.

According to Synergy Research Group’s fourth quarter data for 2016, IBM is firmly in the lead when it comes to managed private cloud. IBM concentrates on this segment, which allows companies to take advantage of cloud while still keeping their on-premise infrastructure.

“Whether on-premises or in a dedicated hosted environment, thousands of clients are supporting business innovation with private cloud — built on IBM world-class infrastructure choices. Infrastructure and services from IBM provide flexible, scalable, secure, open and integrated private clouds to help you accelerate transformation.” IBM Private Cloud

Now, recent data from Gartner, one of the leading market research firms, indicates that there a massive shift towards hybrid cloud is underway. Despite all the attention public cloud is getting, the global Infrastructure as a Service market was only worth $22 billion, which means there is a huge amount of IT infrastructure that still remains on-premise.

And because the advantage of using cloud has become visible to everyone, and no one wants to be left behind, companies are slowly taking the hybrid cloud option, which allows them to use their existing infrastructure but also exploit cloud benefits when needed.

“Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90 percent of organizations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities.”

Rival research firm IDC confirms the trend is well underway in the Asia Pacific region. IDC expects that the next two years will be a tipping point for cloud uptake among Asia/Pacific banks. IDC MaturityScape Benchmark for Cloud in Banking in Asia Pacific reports 80% of Banks in Asia/ Pacific will run on hybrid cloud by 2018.

With IBM sitting tight on the hybrid cloud side of the cloud infrastructure market, there is a good chance that the company will run away with it. They just have to stay as nimble as their younger competitors.

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