US Army moves logistics processing to IBM hybrid cloud

IBM follows up $60m US Army IT contract by helping the organisation to tap into hybrid cloud's benefits

The US Army is using IBM hybrid cloud technology to underpin its huge logistics system, which reportedly processes more daily data transactions than the New York Stock Exchange.

The deployment, which took place last year, saw the army move its Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) system to the hybrid cloud, which it uses to ensure that the equipment soldiers need is in the right place at the right time.

The system is used by 65,000 army personnel to acquire, manage and maintain inventories of goods and products that soldiers need while in the field, and relies on data analytics and business intelligence tools to do this job.

Since moving to the hybrid cloud model, IBM claims the US Army has realised cost savings of about 50%. The system  processes about 40 million unique data transactions each day, which is more than the New York Stock Exchange.

The army is now looking to introduce new analytics services, such as data mining, via the hybrid cloud, which can be rolled out to all parts of the organisation as well as the logistics teams.

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Anne Altman, general manager for US federal at IBM, said the deployment has enabled the army to retain its existing investments in on-premise technology, while tapping into the scalability benefits of hybrid cloud.

"The army not only recognised a trend in IT that could transform how it delivers services to its logistics personnel around the world, but it also implemented a cloud environment quickly and is already experiencing significant benefits," she said.

"It is taking advantage of the inherent benefits of hybrid cloud: security and the ability to connect it with an existing IT system. It also gives the army the flexibility to incorporate new analytics services and mobile capabilities."

In recent months, Big Blue has been making a concerted effort to win over the US public sector with its cloud offerings, opening US federal government-focused datacentres built with the government's specific regulatory compliance concerns in mind.

News of the deal follows the US Department of Defense's announcement last December of its decision to award a $60.5m IT contract to IBM, which is due for completion in November this year.

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