There\u2019s been a lot of hype in the media about on-demand computing, but it is still in the earliest stages. Last week, IBM Global Services took its initial steps into this brave new world, offering four different offerings to give customers the choice to implement on-demand computing in-house or through totally outsourced services.IGS already has more than 90 customers using the on-demand data center services.IGS\u2019 offerings are based on IBM\u2019s Universal Management Infrastructure (UMI). UMI consists of software, IGS best practices and processes, and architecture. A key ingredient of UMI is standardization, as evidenced by IBM\u2019s reference architectures. Standards-based software will work in this environment.The first offering allows customers to purchase the software to implement on-demand computing in-house. IGS integrated and developed the software, which is a combination of technology from newly acquired Think Dynamics, Tivoli management software and IGS-developed software. It provides dynamic policy-based provisioning, a virtual services portal, monitoring,\u00a0service-level agreement\u00a0management, customizable workflow modeling and policy-based workload management, among other services.The second offering is deployed at customer sites. It includes the software, but it also leverages IGS expertise in implementing on-demand environments with assessment and integration services.The third offering can either be deployed in-house, be managed by IBM, or a combination of the two. This incorporates the broader offering of UMI that goes beyond just software - including best practices, reference architectures, IGS consulting and more.Finally, IBM offers a totally IBM-managed infrastructure service. It is a private utility computing service. IBM\u2019s data center staff manages the infrastructure for a customer. Customers using IBM\u2019s data center equipment are typically charged for the amount of CPU time they use.As a complementary service offering, IGS\u2019 Application Management Services group offers application-porting services to help customers consolidate servers and move their legacy applications to updated platforms. Legacy applications can be a barrier to adopting new technology, forcing companies to \u201cwork around\u201d their existing legacy apps. IGS\u2019 staff performs a pre-assessment, followed by a baseline setup and test, then they do the porting of the application and finally perform an acceptance test.The good news is that on-demand computing is becoming a reality with offerings like IBM\u2019s coming to market. However, as with all new concepts, it takes time for them to develop - so it\u2019s still a work in progress.