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Are IBM’s Cloud Computing Consulting Services Generating a Conflict of Interests?

| by Abel Avram Follow 12 Followers on Nov 28, 2008. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

In an attempt to capitalize on the cloud computing hype, IBM announced the launch of a new set of consulting services aimed at businesses which want to use this computing model. It is likely this move will affect IBM’s core enterprise consulting services.

Aimed at public, private or hybrid businesses, IBM offers three types of services:

  • Industry-specific Business Consulting Services for Cloud Computing - IBM Global Business Services will use an economic model for assessing the total cost of ownership for building private clouds, and/or moving data and applications off-site in a public or hybrid cloud model.
  • Technology Consulting, Design and Implementation Services - IBM Global Technology Services is announcing new services to help clients install, configure and deliver cloud computing inside the data center.
  • Cloud Security - Spanning IBM Systems, Software, Services and IBM's lauded Research and X-Force arms, this effort is aimed at re-architecting and re-designing technologies and processes, to infuse security and shield against threats and vulnerabilities in the cloud.

In a recent podcast, David Linthicum, an enterprise architecture consultant, speaks about a conflict of interests generated by IBM’s move:

I cannot help seeing the underline issue here: the more successful they are in moving their clients to cloud computing, the less the enterprise data center is needed. This results in reducing sales in enterprise hardware and software vendors, specifically for, you know, IBM.

IBM’s successful cloud computing efforts will result in hurting the other side of the business.

Dave also notes the same issue with Microsoft:

Microsoft is in the same boat with the appearance of Azure, their new cloud computing platform. They are replacing any of the Microsoft driven servers with clouds.

Perhaps this is a realization of the fact that cloud computing is coming, or it is the result of the need to control the clouds as much as you can.

Dave comments the reasons behind IBM’s jump into the bandwagon:

IBM sees cloud computing coming no matter what they do. They are looking to capitalize on the movement and perhaps find something that’s growing in a world when IT budgets are shrinking.

It seems obvious that IBM’s move into cloud computing consulting services will have impact on their base enterprise services. The question is: how much their core business will be affected by the move?

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