IBM Buys Cast Iron

IBM recently announced it has acquired Cast Iron Systems to broaden the delivery of cloud computing services for clients.

Cast Iron Systems, a privately held company based in Mountain View, CA, delivers industry-leading cloud integration software, appliances and services.  Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition expands IBM’s industry-leading business process and integration software portfolio, which grew more than 20 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Cast Iron Systems has completed thousands of cloud integrations around the world for financial institutions, media and entertainment companies and retail organizations.  The company’s clients include Allianz, NEC, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Dow Jones, Schumacher Group, ShoreTel, Sports Authority, Time Warner, Westmont University and many others.

In today’s competitive global business environment, companies are recognizing the need to reduce complexity and cost in order to increase their business agility.  To do so, many organizations are accessing key business applications through software as a service models and cloud deployments. IBM expects the global cloud computing market to grow at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from $47 billion in 2008 to $126 billion by 2012.

A key challenge businesses face in successfully adopting cloud delivery models is integrating the disparate systems running in their data centers with new cloud based applications.  In the past, this involved time-consuming and resource-draining coding work.  Through Cast Iron Systems, IBM is gaining the ability to help businesses rapidly integrate their cloud-based applications and on-premise systems.  The acquisition also advances IBM’s capabilities for a hybrid cloud model, which is attractive to enterprises because it allows them to blend data from on-premise applications with public and private cloud systems.

IBM is already known for the application integration capabilities it offers for both on-premise and business to business applications.  With the addition of Cast Iron Systems to its portfolio, IBM will be able to offer clients a complete platform to integrate cloud applications from providers including, Amazon, NetSuite and ADP with on-premise applications, such as SAP and JD Edwards.  Using Cast Iron Systems’ hundreds of pre-built templates and services expertise, expensive custom coding can be eliminated, allowing cloud integrations to be completed in the space of days, rather than weeks or longer.  These results can be achieved using a physical appliance, a virtual appliance or a cloud service.

Consistent with IBM’s software strategy, IBM will continue to support and enhance Cast Iron Systems’ technologies and clients while allowing them to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.  Cast Iron Systems’ approximately 75 employees will be integrated into IBM.

The IBM Software Group has acquired more than 55 companies since 2003.

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