THE emergence of "cloud" has transformed business and IT processes into digital services, an executive of software and business solutions provider, IBM Philippines said.

Luis Pineda, president and country general manager of IBM Philippines, said in a press briefing Wednesday at the Marco Polo Hotel that IBM poured in a $6 billion investment on cloud computing and has committed $1.2 billion for global cloud footprints expansion.

"IBM has been investing heavily in this area (cloud), around $6 billion in 17 acquisitions, 40,000 experts, 1,500 recent patents and cloud data centers around the world," he said.

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Service (Paas), Software as a Service (Saas) and Business Process as a Service (BPaas).

He also said that IBM is changing and transforming enterprise IT for the era of Cloud.

"We now offer Iaas, Paas and Saas. With IBM Saas offerings, it is now being used by 47 of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies; Hybrid environments hardened for the enterprise, a platform for rapid development through Bluemix, an open cloud architecture with 200 software and middleware patterns are available to developers; and 30,000 engagements globally across private, public and hybrid environments with expertise in security, data location and management," he said in a press release statement.

According to IBM study, by the end of this year, 1/4 of all applications will be on the cloud and 80 percent of software development will be done on the cloud.

Pineda also said that one of the IBM Philippines biggest visions is to develop the country into a global center for smarter analytics which the company believes that it has better potential for growth than business process outsourcing (BPO).

The firm also plans to extend the introduction of a new agriculture solution to farmers dubbed as Farmer Decision Support System in a bid to promote "smarter agriculture" and help farmers avoid from losing a huge production and increase their yield by 30 to 50 percent.

The solution will include weather data and soil sampling from the different devices found in the farms and can be accessed through smart phones or text messages.

Meanwhile, Pineda also said that some cities in Mindanao are planning to replicate the Intelligent Operations Center for safety and security after it has been established successfully in Davao. But the president refused to disclose the name of the cities for confidentiality. (ASP)