IBM announced the acquisition of privately held Cast Iron Systems to help grow its cloud-computing offering. Cast Iron provides integration software that enables applications running in a cloud to access applications in the data center.

IBM predicts the global cloud-computing market will grow to US$126 billion in 2012, up from $47 billion in 2008. Cast Iron’s software will be rolled into IBM’s business process and integration software portfolio.

Cast Iron has developed hundreds of rebuilt templates, which can be used to eliminate expensive custom coding and can reduce the amount of time to complete integrations to days, down from weeks or longer, IBM said.

“The integration challenges Cast Iron Systems is tackling are crucial to clients who are looking to adopt alternative delivery models to manage their businesses,” said Craig Hayman, general manager at IBM WebSphere, in a statement. “The combination of IBM and Cast Iron Systems will make it easy for clients to integrate business applications, no matter where those applications reside. This will give clients greater agility and, as a result, better business outcomes.”