IBM has announced a cloud-based business analytics service to challenge more established cloud computing players such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
IBM said its private cloud, which is already being used internally, is the largest of its kind and launches with more than a petabyte of data.
The Smart Analytics Cloud service uses this cloud infrastructure to enable IBM customers to build their own private cloud environments.
The service will enable companies to consolidate and virtualise business intelligence using a cloud computing model to save on hardware and power costs.
The service is aimed at providing business intelligence services, systems and software to enable businesses to share business intelligence across the enterprise.
For many companies, this will be an improvement on separate business intelligence systems for each department using their own limited hardware and data sources.
Analysts said IBM has lagged behind in cloud services, but still has the opportunity to take advantage of the cloud computing, which Gartner predicts will reach up to $3.4bn in sales this year.
Internally called Blue Insight, IBM's cloud environment gathers information from nearly 100 different information warehouses and data stores.
IBM said that the system provides its employees in sales, marketing, product development, and engineering-access to a wide range of client and market data.
"By turning that data into insight for IBM's sales force and development communities, IBM will be able to deliver more value in the solutions and services it offers to its clients," the company said.
Blue Insight runs on a System z10 mainframe computer with 48 processors and strong cryptography, enabling it to handle up to 10,000 secure transactions a second.