The investment will build data centers worldwide to "place and control their data globally." It involves building a worldwide network of cloud-focused data centers.
IBM already has 25 such data centers in operation; this push will add 15 more in places like Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, and London by the end of 2014. IBM hopes to eventually build cloud computing data centers in "all major geographies and financial centers," including another wave across Africa and the Middle East in 2015.
"By investing in the cloud ecosystem, IBM not only makes it easier for enterprises to adopt cloud and drive innovation, but also helps new companies of all sizes get off the ground more quickly," said Ann Winblad of venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.
IBM investors cheered the announcement by lifting IBM shares as much as 1% on an otherwise gloomy market day, where IBM shares started the day in negative territory and the S&P 500 is down 0.4%.