Amazon offsets this by bypassing IT and selling directly to employees. However, IT retains the responsibility for compliance; given enough ammunition, IT generally can block access to any vendor seen as unreliable or unsecure. Expect IBM to start providing IT with the evidence to provide this block and with cost-effective alternatives that IT can use instead.
Without a deep relationship with IT, Amazon isn't well-positioned to counter this strategy. If IBM can get close enough on price and ease of use, it should be able to displace Amazon as it has so many other challengers - Digital, NEC, Fujitsu, Compaq, AT&T and so on - which were even better positioned than Amazon is now.
IBM Cloud Making Progress, Ready for Storm
IBM released its cloud marketing against Amazon this week. The associated stats are impressive. Realize that this is done to cause the belief that Amazon will fail to proliferate. This is less about IBM's progress and more about showcasing that Amazon can't compete, or that the market is moving away from Amazon, so that anyone buying into this service for an IBM-class deployment looks foolish.
IBM reports that cloud revenues exceeded $1 billion in Q3 and are growing at a whopping 70%, thanks largely to its $2 billion SoftLayer acquisition. This cuts through Amazon's sales like a hot knife through butter.
IBM also points out that its solution is far more reliable, thanks to a $6 billion R&D investment and 1,400 patents, including a solution to the " noisy neighbor" problem that occurs when companies share cloud resources. This implies that Amazon may be at some intellectual property risk and can't strategically compete with IBM because it simply lacks the skills and resources. (AWS users do have the option of running their cloud applications on dedicated hardware.)