IBM announced its first acquisition of 2012 on Wednesday by purchasing Green Hat, the software quality and testing company based in Wilmington, Delaware and London, England. Green Hat delivers a cloud based testing environment that enables developers to test software applications without the hassle of setting up the hardware and software required for the testing simulation environment. Green Hat’s cloud testing solutions are particularly useful for rapid application development with ultra-short development timelines such smartphones and tablet applications. Green Hat shrinks the percentage of software development costs devoted to testing and simulates a wide variety of IT infrastructures used in development processes. Upon acquisition, Green Hat will join IBM’s Rational Solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management to enable enterprise customers to optimize their testing processes and accelerate software delivery. The acquisition of Green Hat is expected to improve IBM’s application delivery lifecycle in addition to that of its enterprise customers. Green Hat was founded in 1996 by Peter Cole, the company’s CEO. The majority of its 45 employees are based in London. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.