IBM is quietly moving ahead with its bid to corner cloud cash, with plans to push its platform-as-a-service into wide release before the end of the year.
Its SmartCloud Application Services, previously available as a pilot programme, will move into general availability in the fourth quarter, IBM said. The PaaS package is designed to give businesses access to a self-service suite of tools, middleware and databases for application development.
The package "will provide the tools to greatly simplify the development of web applications", Jim Comfort, the company's head of integrated delivery platforms in the cloud, said at the IBM Cloud Innovation Forum in New York on Wednesday. With PaaS, the customer builds its own applications using tools supplied by its cloud provider; data and management of these applications stay with the client.
Comfort suggested IBM's application services may eventually extend into other areas, such as mobile app development.
In addition, he said he expects adoption of PaaS to increase over the next few years, and argued that IBM's existing deep foothold in the enterprise puts it in the right place to pick up that business.
"Sometimes our breadth comes through as complexity, but the power of that breadth is that we can address clients' [needs]," Comfort said.
Alongside the announcement, IBM released a report from its Center for Applied Insights, which found big data is the main reason for enterprises moving into PaaS. It said 16 percent of the 1,500 IT professionals surveyed were actively using this type of cloud computing.
"These pioneers are accelerating their adoption of PaaS," the center's Kevin Thompson said at the New York event. "They're thinking about how to move big data apps onto the cloud."