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While it was once a leader in the personal computer industry, IBM has transitioned into the world of servers and processors, selling its laptop division to Lenovo a few years back. But since the company is now in the business game, it wants a piece of the cloud computing pie.

What is cloud computing?

In the business world, cloud computing companies provide hosting and storage for a number of aspects of a company's data. Data stored "in the cloud" is essentially anything that isn't hosted directly on your computer, but that you access via the internet. This includes everything from hosting a server to providing backups and security for important data.

Teaming up with the little guys

The market leader in the cloud industry is Amazon, but there are a number of other companies that have significant market share. Rather than take on the big guys directly, IBM has made an interesting move: It's partnering with smaller existing cloud companies by providing them with IBM hardware.

So rather than purchasing server centers and physically setting up the infrastructure associated with a cloud computing service, IBM is trying do what it already does well, and position itself as a reliable hardware provider.

Business expertise

It's clear that IBM executives weighed the company's options, and decided that this was the fastest way to become a major player in the cloud game, but whether they succeed remains to be seen. Many skeptics are saying that IBM is too little, too late on this front, but Big Blue has the advantage of being a reputable company with half a million employees. Experts agree that if anyone can do it, its them.

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