RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM already has invested $34 billion in its deal for Raleigh-based Red Hat as part of its new CEO Arvind Krishna’s strategy to expand its cloud computing business. Now Big Blue plans to broaden its cloud push against competitors such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft with a $1 billion investment targeting so-called “hybrid cloud.”

“When you have a platform — either an architectural platform or a technology platform — it’s a lot easier to scale that platform when you leverage an ecosystem,” Bob Lord, IBM’s senior vice president of cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems, told CNN Business in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

IBM says it will invest in “third party software providers and digital IT vendors — to grow the ecosystem of firms working on its hybrid cloud platform,” CNN notes.

The investment fund will “help provide incentives for those third party software companies to build on top of its own architecture, such as covering the costs of migration services,” CNN added.

“These are businesses that consume IBM software, so that when they sell their software, they pull IBM software,” Lord said.

Hybrid cloud is a mix of cloud services, from on-premises ownership by a business to use of other providers’ services.

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