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IBM Smart Business solutions are a comprehensive portfolio of cloud offerings primarily in the areas of Infrastructure as Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), although they do deliver Software as a Service (SaaS) with Tivoli Services Management and LotusLive for online collaboration. IBM's Smart Business Services and Smart Business Systems cover just about anything an enterprise customer, Independent Software Vendor (ISV), or Service Provider (SP) would need to build and deploy cloud-based services, whether as a private cloud behind the corporate firewall or by leveraging a public cloud, such as an IBM Cloud or another provider's cloud.


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IBM has the breadth and depth from across it's business units -- software, hardware, and services -- to allow it to play a significant role in the advent of cloud computing. They have a wide range of cloud computing offerings across each pillar -- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service -- though primarily in IaaS and PaaS.

IBM is focused on helping businesses move to a "dynamic infrastructure" so they can deliver cloud-based services as part of their own enterprise, that is, within their own organization via a private cloud or through a third-party provider as part of a public cloud (e.g. Amazon EC2). Not surprisingly, IBM's Dynamic Infrastructure forms the basis for their cloud strategy since it encompasses and extends so much of IBM's intellectual property, especially in the areas of virtualization, automation, and standardization.

Recently, IBM went through a re-branding of their cloud portfolio wrapping things up under the banner of IBM Smart Business, a combination of products and services to help foster cloud computing across an organization and in the areas of "software development and testing, desktop and device management, and collaboration". As with all cloud computing services, the goal is to improve flexibility and scalability and end-user experience, while driving down the costs associated with building and maintaining the infrastructure required to support a traditional corporate data center.

All together, IBM sees the benefits of cloud computing from the perspective of the enterprise as it relates to its the end-users. Their history suggests they will take a very enterprise-centric approach given their product portfolio, customer base, countless consulting engagements and experience with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). SOA is critical for enterprise success in driving value out of cloud computing.

Whether its IBM Smart Business Services with all the elements required to take advantage of, deliver and/or enable cloud-based services, including professional services, or IBM Smart Business Systems with integrated software and hardware appliances that are "cloud-ready," IBM is positioning itself to deliver value to its customers through cloud computing.

Value Proposition

IBM Smart Business Services helps to ensure the benefits of cloud computing -- capacity on demand, capital expense reduction, greater IT flexibility -- are realized by bringing consulting expertise into the mix.

IBM Smart Business Test Cloud targets areas ripe for improvement -- software development and the infrastructure that supports it, which is often well under-utilized. Significant "savings over traditional capital and licensing costs (up to 75% in some cases), as well as on operating and labor costs (up to 50%)...also leads to reduced software defects normally caused by faulty configurations and poor modeling."

IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud results in greater flexibility by scaling resources to meet demand, driving better asset utilization and lowering energy costs.

IBM Computing on Demand gives customers capacity on demand without having to invest in the infrastructure to get there, increasing time-to-market and reducing cost and complexity. Customers gain improved service levels, reduced costs, and can better address issues related to security and compliance.

Products & Services

  • IBM Smart Business Services consist of professional services for customers that want to implement a cloud-based solution either within their enterprise, as private cloud, or on the IBM cloud (i.e. IBM's public cloud).
  • IBM Smart Business Test Cloud is IBM's private cloud offering that gets deployed behind a company's firewall for purposes of security. Customers can choose to use IBM's cloud-based appliances (see below) to deploy a private cloud and then "manage and interact with complex IT topologies deployed in the cloud."
  • IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud brings virtualization to desktop environments running Windows or Linux.
  • Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud allows users to access and leverage the IBM Cloud for application development and testing using IBM Rational tools.
  • LotusLive provides an integrated collaboration and social networking services to simplify and improve the daily business interactions between customers, partners and colleagues.
  • IBM Smart Business Systems are appliances -- integrated hardware, middleware, and applications -- that helps a company implement cloud services quickly and more easily, whether it is implemented as a private cloud or via a public cloud. IBM CloudBurst 1.1 is built on the IBM BladeCenter platform. The IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance provides a ready-to-go, cloud computing platform with specialized images for creating and deploying application environments based on IBM WebSphere software.
  • IBM Service Management Software, built on the Tivoli Service Management Platform, is focused on the back office or operational concerns of IT management. It is also comprised of best practices, methodologies, and services to help deliver IT services to end-users within an enterprise.
  • IBM Computing on Demand (CoD) is an enterprise-level solution that can provide organizations with flexible compute power based on the needs of each organization. It is IBM's pay-as-you-go infrastructure offering.
  • IBM Cloud Labs are staffed with subject matter experts ready to help clients take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing. For developers there's the IBM Cloud Space on developerWorks.

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