360°IT Event gives thumbs up on IBM/Panasonic cloud deal

London, (PresseBox) - News that IBM has secured the industry's largest cloud computing contract to date with Panasonic (http://bit.ly/69Sj8a) has been welcomed by 360°IT - The IT Infrastructure Event.

Natalie Booth, the show's event director, said that the deal - which sent IBM's share price soaring late last week - will see the LotusLive system being used initially by 100,000 Panasonic employees, but eventually rolled out to an impressive 300,000 staff worldwide.

"This news confirms - if confirmation were ever needed - that cloud computing, with all its technical and economic advantages, is now firmly established on the boardroom agenda. It also comes hard on the heels of HP and Microsoft's plans to spend $250 million to codevelop cloud computing systems (http://bit.ly/6HfKWF)

"Although financial terms of the IBM/Panasonic contract have not been revealed, you can be sure this is a big ticket item, even for IBM, which is why the stock market has viewed this deal so favourably," she added.

According to Booth, as the year unfolds, she fully expect other major companies to hop on board the cloud train, especially now that Gartner is predicting that sales of cloudbased applications, including email programs, will soar 47 per cent in 2010 to $9.6 billion.

And with the research firm also predicting that, by 2012, a clear 20 per cent - one in five - of firms will have no assets at all, having shifting most of their systems to the cloud (http://bit.ly/8iOF8b),the stage is now set for a seachange in the IT infrastructure industry, she explained.

The IBM/Panasonic deal will be viewed by many as the litmus test of success for cloud computing by IT historians in the years ahead, but whilst many of the major companies are preparing to embrace the benefits of cloud technology, there is still a lot of education needed about how legacy systems will interface with the cloud, the 360°IT Event director went on to say.

"It's also interesting to see Panasonic's CIO saying that he intends to sign other large deals to outsource key parts of his firm's technology infrastructure in the months ahead," she said.

"This year promises to be a watershed for cloud computing, so it is down to shows like ours to help business professionals better understand the technology that is set to a major topic on boardroom agendas in the months ahead," she added.

For more on the 360°IT event: http://www.360itevent.com

About 360°IT - The IT Infrastructure Event

360°IT is the event dedicated to the IT community addressing the needs of IT professionals responsible for the management and development of a flexible, secure and dynamic IT infrastructure.

With high level strategic content, product demonstrations and technical workshops, 360°IT will provide an essential road map of current and emerging technologies to deliver end to end solutions.

360°IT will facilitate vendor and end user collaboration to create the IT infrastructure necessary to achieve key business objectives - improving service, reducing cost and managing risk whilst gaining competitive advantage and growth.

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