But it calls the open source initiative the next wave of cloud computing.
IBM has admitted demand for the open source initiative Cloud Foundry is "in its infancy", but predicts the collaborative venture will catch and keep developers with the quality of its cloud computing technology.
The firm signed up to the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) project last July, and just last week was announced as one of the founding members of a forthcoming independent organisation, the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which will oversee the neutrality of the initiative.
Cloud Foundry has emerged as the cloud computing equivalent of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) counterpart OpenStack since its creation in April 2011, and lets developers develop and deploy applications on its PaaS platform.
IBM is just one of numerous tech firms to bet on the initiative, and last week announced a $1bn investment to develop its PaaS capabilities.
UK and Ireland CTO of cloud computing, Mark Tomlinson, told CBR: "We’re putting a lot of our hopes on Cloud Foundry. The consumption model on Cloud Foundry is very attractive for the developer community because you just build your application and deploy it.
"In terms of customer interest and demand for that, I think it’s in its infancy at the moment, but I think without a doubt we see that really as the next wave of cloud computing."
The Foundation is aimed at ensuring there is no single controlling interest in the initiative, and Tomlinson said: "We can have confidence that everybody gets an equal say in the platform, so that it’s democratic.
"[Now] there’s an even playing field between ourselves and Pivotal, who did have a very strong control."
But the Foundation also secures investment in the venture to propel innovation.
Aside from securing IBM’s support, Pivotal, the firm responsible for Cloud Foundry, has also managed to persuade Rackspace, SAP and HP – alongside its own owners VMWare and EMC – to sign up as platinum sponsors of the Foundation.
That commits them to investments of $500,000 a year for at least three years to develop the PaaS technology.
Pivotal believes the continual innovation will help developers cut down the time it takes to deploy applications onto the PaaS from days to minutes, creating a new industry standard.
Verizon signed up in November last year to offer PaaS as part of its cloud, and told CBR that the benefits outweigh the risks that a customer could develop an application with them and then host it with a rival Foundry partner.
Executive director of cloud strategy, Joe Crawford, said: "We don’t want to give them a reason to move, we want to help them develop on our cloud and stay there.
"Sure [there’s a danger they could move the application to run it elsewhere]. Or develop it somewhere else and never move it to Verizon."
But colleague Abrar Khan said the strength of Cloud Foundry was the diversity of companies involved with it.
"What Cloud Foundry offers it’s a system where if you need more capacity, you expand across multiple providers," he said.
"That’s where the power is. I don’t think it’s necessarily saying ‘use Verizon’ or use another provider: it’s giving the customer control of where they want to deploy and how much capacity they need."
And other companies are looking at joining – Len Padilla, VP of product strategy for telecoms group NTT Com, said it is looking at the open source movement.
"We think it’s really interesting, the Pivotal mission is really interesting within VMWare and EMC" he said. "We’re not an exclusive part of that but that could change."