UPDATED 19:14 EDT / JANUARY 14 2021

CLOUD

IBM buys cloud consultancy firm Taos Mountain

IBM Corp. said today it’s buying the managed and professional information technology services provider Taos Mountain LLC.

San Jose, California-based Taos is said to be one of the largest multicloud consulting firms in North America, working with major enterprises to deliver managed services such as data center migration, platform engineering and hybrid cloud.

The acquisition comes at a time when enterprises are increasingly shifting their IT workloads to the public cloud. That trend has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is rapidly altering the center of enterprise data gravity in such a way that many are seeking external management expertise.

In future, analysts say, it’s likely that most enterprises will adopt a hybrid cloud strategy, where their data and applications reside in a mix of on-premises and public cloud environments.

IBM Chief Executive Arvind Krishna has been trying to boost the company’s growth with a greater focus on hybrid cloud computing. With thousands of companies expected to migrate to the cloud in the coming years, it’s expected that most will use multiple cloud providers, and Krishna sees an opportunity for IBM to manage the complexities of that setup.

Gartner Inc. analyst Craig Lowery told SiliconANGLE that IBM is making a very specific bet on helping customers adopt hybrid and multicloud solutions to transform their businesses, but said this is a very competitive space, with literally hundreds of companies providing those kinds of services. He said that Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Professional and Managed Services highlighted the top 20 companies in this sector, including Taos and Nordcloud Ltd., a Finland-based professional services provider that IBM acquired in December.

“IBM was not included in the same Magic Quadrant,” Lowery said. “Through these acquisitions, IBM can be seen to be filling gaps in its capabilities and creating a more credible presence in this market.”

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE that it is clear that IBM is doubling down on the multicloud opportunity it sees.

“Expertise in multicloud deployments is scarce, so the acquisition of Taos means IBM is in better shape to provide this,” Mueller said. “Taos has some useful software assets too, such as the Taos Acture end point management suite. It’ll be interesting to see where those end up.”

“Our laser-like focus on helping clients migrate to the cloud, modernize multicloud platforms, and manage hybrid cloud environments over the past several years is a natural fit with IBM Global Business Services,” said Taos Chief Executive Hamilton Yu. “Our team brings over 300 certifications with leading public clouds to serve clients throughout North America.”

IBM said that Taos will operate as an IBM company within IBM Global Business Services, and will remain with IBM after it spins off its infrastructure management business next year.

“This makes sense when one considers that IBM will have the opportunity of a fresh start in creating a renewed cloud transformation story for its customers,” Lowery said.

Image: IBM

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