We’ve seen this before. A burst of innovation in technology snowballs, and the result is paralysis. Too many choices, too many rainbows on the horizon, and not enough hard and fast answers.

When cloud computing was all about technology, anything was possible. But only a fraction of companies — other than tech shops — started operating in the cloud in a serious way. The enterprise had bigger things on its mind — innovating products and services, reducing operating costs and inching past the competition. It just didn’t make sense to sell off the servers and move up to the public cloud, not when existing technology was working just fine with regular maintenance.

Companies want their technology, their workloads, and their IT teams to work harder and smarter.

IBM gets that. They know companies are geared for staged incremental progression, not rip and replace. Mixing cloud services with functioning data centres in a hybrid architecture sounds doable. Extending expanding workloads into the cloud sounds like common sense. Moving forward with hybrid cloud speed and cost-effectiveness sounds like a plan.

According to Robert LeBlanc, IBM Cloud’s Senior Vice President, 80% of enterprises will be using hybrid cloud architecture by 2017. So he’s making sure he’s ready to take in as much of that business as possible. Last year, IBM introduced 65 new cloud services. Of the dozen companies they acquired, three quarters were innovators in cloud technology. They opened eight new data centres, bringing the total to 46 around the world.

Because no one knows data centres like IBM, they’re a magnet for the best cloud-enabling technology available. Last month they drew VMware in, to deliver software-defined data centre architecture on IBM Cloud. Together, the two will collaborate on new hybrid cloud deployment offerings for workload migration, capacity expansion, and data centre consolidation.

This could be the most important phase in the 14-year relationship between the two. VMware technology is already in place at an impressive number of top organizations, and IBM has established a matrix of cloud data centres.

In my last blog, I said IBM is in transformation. Last year they grew their cloud business by 57 percent. With this partnership, they’re putting the pedal to the metal and accelerating into the turn.

With new hybrid cloud option on the horizon, is this the future of enterprise architecture? Are you going to be in that 80 percent?