IBM has announced that it has received the 2016 Cloud Company of the Year Award from leading independent technology market research firm Frost & Sullivan. The Award acknowledges IBM's market leadership in delivering a complete and fully integrated stack of cloud services including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

Particularly important to CIOs and IT managers, Frost & Sullivan highlights IBM's ability to support hybrid environments via the company's extensive portfolio of connectivity tools and capabilities that allow enterprises to easily create, deploy, and manage a flexible range of applications and microservices.

"This award recognizes the extraordinary range and depth of IBM's cloud services portfolio," said Don Boulia, VP of Cloud Strategy and Portfolio Management at IBM. "IBM Cloud provides clients with flexibility and choice when embracing hybrid solutions. They can continue driving value from their existing investments, while also gaining access to public, scalable infrastructure and services across our global footprint of data centers, including IBM Watson."

According to Lynda Stadtmueller, vice president of cloud services, Stratecast|Frost & Sullivan, "IBM's cloud platform supports the concept of 'hybrid integration' — that is, a hybrid IT environment in which disparate applications and data are linked via a comprehensive integration platform, allowing the apps to share common management functionality and control." These capabilities enable customers to leverage Watson and analytics functionality made available through application programming interfaces (APIs) on Bluemix.

Stadtmueller also commented on the economic benefits of IBM Cloud, noting, "IBM Cloud offers a price-performance advantage over competitors due to its infrastructure configurations and service parameters—including a bare metal server option; single-tenant (private) compute and storage options; granular capacity selections for processing, memory, and network for public cloud units; and all-included technical support."

Competitors in the cloud market do not offer such a broad portfolio of integrated infrastructure, software, and platform solutions, according to Frost & Sullivan.

To win the Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award a company must demonstrate excellence in growth, innovation, and leadership. This kind of excellence typically translates into superior performance in three key areas: demand generation, brand development, and competitive positioning. These areas serve as the foundation of a company's future success and prepare it to deliver on the two criteria that define the Company of the Year Award—Visionary Innovation & Performance and Customer Impact.