The Jolly Blue Giant, AKA IBM and Big Blue, is coming after all the “Jacks” in mobile – just as that new Jack and the Beanstalk retelling prepares to hit move theaters next week.

Richard Waters, writing at The Financial Times, certainly captured well IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) much-hyped move into the mobile data space earlier this week. That market is exploding, as Cisco recently forecast.

“When it comes to mobile,” the headline on his blog reads, “IBM gets religion.”

When the Blue Giant speaks, the world listens – even if Big Blue is a relatively late comer. While perhaps not the trailblazer, IBM certainly intends to be a major player in helping enterprises embrace data on the move. Big Blue CEO Ginny Rometty is promising a doubling of resources this year, although how much money that involves remains unclear.

Its vow is to combine security, analytics, apps development and the “cloud” in its mobile play.

“Our comprehensive portfolio of mobile solutions can help your business turn each interaction into an opportunity,” Big Blue says.

Which brings us to Waters’ blog.

“IBM has a tried and trusted method for turbo-charging its growth in promising new IT markets: rebrand its existing efforts in the field in question, boast about all the investments it’s already made – and then promise to double them,” Waters wrote.

“Analytics, security and ecommerce have all come in for this kind of treatment, making them bright spots in an otherwise low-growth company. Now it’s the turn of mobile computing.”

The IBM mobile news under the banner of its “MobileFirst Portfolio” already has secured numerous partners, including AT&T. And IBM plans to gain as much attention as it can at the annual Mobile World Congress in Spain. (A nifty video helps hype the strategy.)

Its portfolio includes:

  • IBM MobileFirst Strategy & Design Services

We’ll help you explore, assess, and plan your mobile platform to address current and future business and technology requirements that are unique to your organization, your industry, and your users. Working with a trusted business partner like IBM can help you dramatically shorten time to market, and identify and prioritize objectives.

  • IBM MobileFirst Platform

Increase your enterprise’s agility with new mobile apps and multichannel Web experiences connected to back-end systems and applications, with accelerated application delivery and support for native and offline apps.

  • IBM MobileFirst Management

“Enhance your enterprise’s productivity as you manage mobile devices, data, applications, expenses, and services throughout their lifecycles. “Bring your own device” (BYOD) policies bring more capabilities into your mobile enterprise, making employees more productive when their smartphones and tablets can immediately connect to networks, apps, and data.”

  • IBM MobileFirst Security

Provide secure transactions from an array of devices, from around the world, while keeping your networks safe and efficient. And with employees working BYOD–with access to corporate resources–your IT team needs to gain close control over those devices.

  • IBM MobileFirst Analytics

“Strengthen your business capabilities by redefining the end-to-end mobile customer experience. Open and expand marketplaces. Reach consumers at the moment of decision by leveraging location services, and create value through mobile capabilities that drive loyalty and satisfaction.”

  • IBM MobileFirst Development & Integration Services

“We’ll help you develop, deploy, integrate, and manage application and infrastructure elements of your mobile enterprise and end-user platforms. Plus, we’ll help you optimize new technologies while making the most of your existing application development, IT infrastructure, and communication platform investments, while enabling you to chose from delivery models that include managed services and cloud computing.”

Headline News

A quick span of headlines as gathered through Google Alerts shows IBM chose the correct venue at which to announce its new initiative.

  • IBM and AT&T ink apps partnership - Mobile World Live
  • IBM to Take Big Step Into Mobile – New York Times 
  • IBM aims to help companies go mobile – USA Today
  • IBM Unveils MobileFirst Software, Bolsters New Ties To AT&T – International Business Times
  • IBM MobileFirst Platform, Services Launch for Enterprise Customers
  • IBM launches enhanced mobile services offering – Yahoo! news
  • IBM rolls out MobileFirst, eyes role as enterprise mobility enabler - ZDNet

So will IBM succeed?

“IBM has long had a broader set of capabilities to attack hot new IT markets like this than most of its rivals,” The FT’s Waters concludes. “[A]s always, the question is whether it can harness those to effectively provide the kind of unified solutions that its customers need. The approach honed in areas like analytics and security – and now mobile – suggests that it is at least on the right track.”

[IBM ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]