June 24, 2008 - IBM announced the opening of new "cloud computing" centers in South Africa and China. Cloud computing enables the delivery of personal and business services from remote, centralized servers (the "cloud") that share computing resources and bandwidth - to any device, anywhere.


The shift to cloud computing is fueled by the dramatic growth in business collaboration, connected devices, real-time data streams and Web 2.0 applications such as streaming media and entertainment, social networking and mobile commerce.  Cloud computing represents a major step up in computing - as it enables governments, businesses and individuals to access super-computing power, analysis of massive amounts of data, and applications five to 10-times more cost effectively.


The new centers are designed to help clients in Africa and China tackle issues they would otherwise not be able to address.


"These centers will enable our clients in China and sub-Saharan Africa to better embrace the services-based, global economy," said Nick Donofrio, IBM's executive vice president of Innovation and Technology.  "Much like the power-generation and manufacturing infrastructures before it, the data center continues to consolidate for scale and become increasingly more efficient and interconnected with partners and the public Internet infrastructure.  From that, a global value chain of information technology is emerging."


The new centers are part of IBM's overall investment in the world's growth markets.


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