IBM is announcing a significant stride in its bid to be the best cloud company with a $500 million services contract today with Anthem.

Under the deal, IBM will build a hybrid cloud environment for Anthem, transforming that company’s information technology infrastructure. IBM recently formed its IBM Cloud business unit, bringing together a team of services, software, development, and research initiatives to further fuel IBM’s momentum in this market and accelerate new innovations into the marketplace.

Cloud computing has transformed IT infrastructure, and many companies are using a hybrid of internal computing resources in their own data centers, as well as outsourced computing resources in a “cloud” or web-connected data center owned by somebody else.

IBM had previously set a goal of generating $7 billion in cloud revenues by the end of 2015. But it actually hit that target a year early, with revenue growth of 60 percent in the past year. The cloud-as-a-service portion of that revenue in 2014 was $3 billion, up 75 percent.

Gartner forecasts that in 2015, 72 percent of enterprises will pursue a hybrid cloud strategy. Analysts at MarketsandMarkets estimate that hybrid cloud will be a nearly $80 billion opportunity by 2018, and IBM said it is well positioned for that.

Last year, IBM invested more than $1.2 billion to expand its global footprint in 40 cloud data centers around the world. It also invested $1 billion to build its Bluemix platform-as-a-service to help developers create cloud applications for the hybrid cloud. And it signed more than $4 billion in multi-year enterprise cloud agreements with Lufthansa, WPP, Thomson Reuters, and ABN Amro. IBM now has more than 120 software-as-a-service offerings, and it supports 24 of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies.