This expansion will triple IBM’s data centre footprint in the UK, and will effectively create the largest European footprint of cloud data centres in Europe.
The investment expands IBM Cloud data centres to six in the UK and 16 across Europe in total. The company has over 50 globally.
IBM says the move aims to meet growing client demand for digital transformation and cognitive intelligence.
The news is significant on two levels.
First, it is the largest commitment IBM Cloud has made to one country at a single point in time.
>See also: Microsoft opens first UK cloud data centres
Second, the timing. The announcement comes a day before the UK Autumn statement (Wednesday), showcasing another major vote of confidence in the UK post Brexit.
“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,” said Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture.
“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 data centers will help our firms work smarter and quicker to become the world-leading businesses of tomorrow.”
Following Apple’s, Nissan and Google’s recent commitment to the UK, international technology companies like IBM still consider London as a major technology capital of Europe.
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The news also follows the announcement of more UK customers for IBM, including Travis Perkins, Shop Direct, Boots and Dixons.
With Black Friday around the corner, retailers like this need a strong provider to manage cloud traffic. More data centres will provide further robust online infrastructure to manage peak traffic.
Cloud adoption rates increased to 84% in the UK over the course of the last five years, according to Cloud Industry Forum.
IDC forecasts that the global market opportunity for public cloud services will exceed $195 billion by 2020.
The need to manage this increased adoption is great and certainly a factor in the latest news from IBM Cloud.