ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced plans to commit over $1.2 billion to significantly expand its global cloud footprint. 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. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140117/NY48235-a )(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140117/NY48235-INFO-b )(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO ) This year IBM plans to deliver cloud services from 40 data centers worldwide in 15 countries and five continents globally, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. IBM will open 15 new centers worldwide adding to the existing global footprint of 13 global data centers from SoftLayer and 12 from IBM. Among the newest data centers to launch are China, Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, London, Japan, India, Canada, Mexico City and Dallas. 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. By some estimates, the global cloud market is set to grow to $200 billion by 2020; driven largely by businesses and government agencies deploying cloud services to market, sell, develop products, manage their supply chain and transform their business practices. "IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas," said Erich Clementi, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services. "Last year, IBM made a big investment adding the $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer to its existing high value cloud portfolio. Today's announcement is another major step in driving a global expansion of IBM's cloud footprint and helping clients drive transformation." The new cloud investments IBM is making will provide business clients the ability to place and control their data globally. IBM SoftLayer gives clients the ability to choose a cloud environment and location that best suits their business needs and provides visibility and transparency to where data reside, control of data security and placement.