IBM to triple UK cloud datacentre presence

Arrow cloud and man jumping

IBM will open the doors of its new cloud datacentre in Fareham in just a couple of weeks, as it embarks on a programme to triple its UK datacentre capacity by the end of 2017.

Another datacentre will open up in partnership with Ark Datacentres, in the first half of 2017, followed by two further IBM-built centres in the second half of next year. IBM remained tight-lipped on the location of the latter.

Once complete, Big Blue will have six datacentres based in the UK and a total of 16 across Europe.

The increased focus and investment are in response to customer demand and also a proactive move towards where the market is headed, according to Helen Kelisky, vice president of cloud for IBM in the UK and Ireland.

Kelisky cited figures from analyst firm IDC, which predict that the market opportunity for public cloud services will swell from $70 billion in 2015 to $195 billion by 2020. Such predictions, she said, further signalled the demand is there and growing.

"You can really see the uptick," she told Cloud Pro. "A cloud platform really gives the agility businesses need to respond to pressures in the market. It’s now not just about cost savings. It’s now about using data to innovate, differentiate and monetise. It’s moved on now from pure cost-cutting to innovation.

"I’m thrilled to announce a major expansion of our UK datacentres. IBM is tripling its cloud datacentre capacity in the UK. It’s the largest commitment IBM has made to a single country at a single point in time."

Kelisky added: "We have seen client demand for cloud soaring. Data locality is one factor, but many businesses are also choosing IBM for our ability to move workloads around the cloud and our cognitive capabilities. This is the next wave of cloud - tapping into data and monetising it or businesses using it to differentiate themselves in the market."

The government is in support of IBM's cloud-focused endeavours, with Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, saying in a statement: "We are already among the most digitally connected countries in the world, with a globally successful digital economy worth more than £118 billion a year and strong cyber security defences to protect consumers and business.

"Today's announcement by IBM is a further boost for this thriving area, and another vote of confidence which shows Britain is open for business. These new cloud datacentres will help our firms work smarter and quicker to become the world-leading businesses of tomorrow."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.