IBM touts computing on demand paradigm

IBM is promoting its 'on demand' computing strategy at this year's show. Big Blue has broken down its huge stand in hall 3 into four areas.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  September 29, 2003

IBM is promoting its 'on demand' computing strategy at this year's show. Big Blue has broken down its huge stand in hall 3 into four areas - one dedicated to its business consulting division, another for business solutions, a third to its range of computing hardware and a final area for its middleware technologies. The array of products and services has been pulled together under IBM's utility computing message.

"Customers want an IT infrastructure that responds to the changing business environment," explains Khalid Hassan, marketing manager, IBM Middle East.

"[Organisations] want to be able to tap into computing power, when their business demands it," he adds.

Just how quickly companies make the move towards the utility computing remains in doubt. The biggest challenging facing vendors appears to be a lack of understanding. "Companies are just learning about these computing models, they not moving there," says Corey Ferungul, vice president of operations strategies, Meta Group. "This is a year of education. This is not a year of implementation," he adds.

By and large the region has been apathetic to initial examples of pay as you go computing. For instance, local businesses have been reluctant to embrace CPU pay on demand schemes offered by the likes of Sun, HP and IBM.

"[The utility computing] concept is only just taking off in more developed markets," explains Jyoti Lalchandani, senior consultant software and services, regional manager, IDC Middle East. "Several larger players are looking at entering this market. For most organisations it is still too early to invest," he adds.

IBM has a realistic notion of how utility computing models will rollout in the Middle East. According to Hassan, companies will not attempt to migrate their organisation to an on demand business model overnight. Rather when organisations are introducing a new service, such as a web application, they will implement it using an on demand computing model. "This model has been developed from customer needs, this is what they are asking us for. [Companies] will move toward this model over time, depending on the demand of their business," he adds.

Overtime, the utility computing will develop into the de-facto model to develop and manage IT services, predicts Hassan.

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