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IBM to invest $1.2 bn to expand 'cloud'

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US computing giant IBM said Friday it would be investing $1.2 billion to expand Internet "cloud" services, by opening up new data centers around the world. 

US computing giant IBM said Friday it would be investing $1.2 billion to expand Internet "cloud" services, by opening up new data centers around the world

"This investment includes a network of data centers designed to bring clients greater flexibility, transparency and control over how they manage their data, run their businesses and deploy their IT operations in the cloud," IBM said in a statement.

Fifteen new data centers will be opened to bring the total IBM network to 40, the company said.

"With this announcement, IBM plans to have data centers in all major geographies and financial centers with plans to expand in the Middle East and Africa in 2015," the company said, citing estimates that the global cloud market is set to grow to $200 billion by 2020.

"IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas," said Erich Clementi, senior vice president of IBM global technology services.

IBM last year lost a big contract with the CIA for cloud computing to Amazon, a deal reportedly valued at up to $600 million over four years.

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