IBM Finding Life in the Cloud to Be Extremely Profitable

IP News

You know that feeling you get when it seems as though you’re walking on air, or maybe you’ve reached that proverbial “cloud 9?” On the other hand it’s never really been a good thing to “have your head up in the clouds.” However, these days, roaming amongst the clouds can be very positive and in some cases, you can even own the clouds. In the case of IBM, it looks like the information technology giant is trying to do exactly that. Judging by its latest revenue results, the company’s plan is working.

Cloud Service Business Is Soaring

IBM recently reported its quarterly earnings and the numbers were impressive, especially in regards to its cloud business, which saw in increase of 75 percent over the same yearly period last year. That resulted in $7.7 billion in total revenue from its cloud storage business during the 12 months that lead up to the end of first quarter of 2015. There’s no question that IBM’s cloud computing business is a real powerhouse for the company. While $7.7 billion is a lot it is still just one part of the company’s overall business. However, it appears that IBM is going to be making an even larger push into cloud computing services in the months and years to come.

More Developers Dedicated to the Cloud

To that end, IBM has stated that by 2019 it expects the number of developers working in the cloud-based sector to reach 12.5 million. That would be close to three times the current number of developers working in cloud computing services, which now numbers about 4.3 million. So how does all of this relate to intellectual property and monetization?

Is There More IP Monetization to Come?

IBM is no stranger to monetizing its intellectual property portfolio. The company, which holds one of the largest patent portfolios in the world, has been licensing it’s IP since the 1990s, and it has been doing it very successfully; to the tune of about a $1 billion annually. Regarding its cloud based business, IBM has received almost 100 new patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in just the last three months alone that are all related to cloud computing technologies. The majority of these patents are associated with computing environments and virtual machines, with cloud computing services being one of the largest focuses in the computing environment.

What Does the Future Hold for the Cloud?

While IBM has not announced any formal efforts to sell or license these new patents, given its licensing and monetization history, it would be easy to see how the company could further take advantage of their IP portfolio by licensing it to other companies. Thus, IBM would not only further its own influence and dominance in cloud computing services, but it could also greatly affect how others operate in this sector, as well. That means the next time you take a walk in the clouds you could find IBM’s fingerprints all over the sky.

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