IBM is updating its Bluemix portfolio of cloud services to help companies save time in deploying new applications by using these new programming methodologies.

At its annual Innovate developer conference, IBM is launching a number of new Bluemix services to support development practices such as devops, which shortens development time by having software developers work more closely with system administrators and other IT operations staff, and agile programming, which speeds the development process through rapid iterations of applications based on immediate customer feedback.

Within many industries, companies are now competing with one another through their customer-facing applications, making speedy software development a necessity.

In February, the company introduced its Bluemix set of PaaS (platform-as-a-service) offerings to aid in software delivery.

Bluemix provides a way for developers to readily assemble different cloud-based functionalities, both from IBM and others, into services. Such functionality does or shortly will include planning and collaboration tools, mobile device management, source code management, and ways to quickly move a service or application into production.

IBM is preparing its services so its customers can use a mixture of on-premise and cloud resources, an approach known as the hybrid cloud. Sales of hybrid cloud systems and services are expected to reach US$79 billion by 2018, according to IT research firm Research and Markets.

The new Bluemix services include:

-- AppScan, which allows the developer to test the security of an application in multiple environments;

-- Embeddable Reporting, a set of services to build advanced analytics to reveal how a mobile app is being used by customers;

-- Workflow, a set of components to orchestrate cloud services, which can modify workflows based on their behavior; and

-- Continuous Delivery Pipeline, a set of services to allow organizations to manage multiple application releases.

The company will also unveil a set of continuous testing, release and deployment packages -- covering mobile devices and mainframes -- as well as a set of packages for business planning and collaborative development.

In addition to the new service offerings, the company has also unveiled a few early users of Bluemix services at the conference.

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