Can security, specialized tools, and limited customer access be selling points for cloud services? IBM clearly believes that it can be and with their Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud offering are making a stand for individuality in a very "me too" market.
With this business IBM is hoping to convince customers to move their software development and testing onto a secure cloud space supported not only by IBM datacenters on the backend but also with the availability of their Rational Software Delivery Services to support an end-to-end development effort. They are betting that their customers are ready to offload the expense of building a test and development network on to the cloud and will pay the premium for the IBM security and software development cycle management tools.
This really does make a lot of sense. Building test and development networks is an expensive undertaking, simply for the cost of the hardware involved, When you add in the expenses that represent security, maintenance, software development management tools and consider that the hardware involved is traditionally severely underutilized, looking for a more cost effective way to make these services available within your business make excellent economic sense.
This is especially true when you consider that the focus is on test and development; the cloud nature of the service means that having developers or development teams scattered around the world is no longer an issue. The Rational tools allow the development and test process to be managed just as easily as if all the developers were in the same location.
With cloud services from companies like Amazon and Google available to pretty much anyone who wants them, the IBM Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud service not only requires that you contract for the service but that IBM also approves you. It makes sense for IBM to assure themselves and the customers that the planned uses will be able to take advantage of the service being offered and that maximum value can be derived from its usage.
After all, when your business has successfully developed and tested new corporate applications on IBM's cloud, what could make more sense than deploying those same services, throughout your corporate enterprise, using IBMs more general purpose cloud service offerings?