Today in Cloud

IBM is taking an interesting approach to differentiating its cloud offering. Rather than focusing on provision of utility cloud infrastructure across a wide range of industry sectors, the company has chosen to target its SmartCloud to specific domains and their particular regulatory or technical requirements. Healthcare was first, and I spoke with the company’s Ric Telford at the time. Yesterday, it was the turn of Education. Healthcare made sense, as do a number of other verticals such as Finance and Law. Although it clearly can — and already does — benefit from use of cloud computing, education is less obvious as a clear market in need of special treatment, especially once you reach Higher Education and escape the child protection issues of the K-12 sector. Looking at the assortment of issues that IBM has chosen to load into a single press release, it’s possible that they’re also unconvinced by education’s fit with the model they successfully demonstrated for healthcare. Maybe these are “just” some cloud-powered products for the education sector, rather than the special cloud that made so much sense for more heavily regulated verticals.