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The discussion around cloud computing has become widespread as more and more organizations consider adopting the technology. With cloud computing, users of various types of devices — including PCs, laptops, smart phones and PDAs — access programs, storage, processing, and even application development platforms over a private network or the Internet.

Vendors, analysts, bloggers and users are all excited about the technology and the opportunities it affords — and it's not just talk. Cloud computing is poised to change both the landscape of IT solutions and even the business models that underpin successful software and hardware companies. In fact, IDC expects that, in the next five years, spending on IT cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching $42 billion by 2012 and account for nine percent of revenues in five key market segments. The options and value of cloud computing are becoming a real and important part of enterprise IT solutions today.

However, it's important for IT managers to understand why organizations are drawn to cloud computing solutions so they can determine if an "in the cloud" solution makes sense for their organization. They need to consider options for implementing a cloud, understand benefits and risks of using a cloud for IT services delivery, evaluate which cloud model is appropriate for their organization and develop a plan for successful deployment of a cloud solution. They should also consider and address associated risks as well as the benefits before moving some or all of their IT infrastructure and operations into the cloud. As IT managers examine business needs, they'll be able to identify a cloud-based model that's appropriate for their circumstances.

Cloud computing makes sense for organizations

Organizations expect cloud computing to help them improve business processes, accelerate innovation and improve the effectiveness of the workforce. This type of architecture allows a business to define the services needed and then abstract the delivery mechanisms. Thanks to its inherent flexibility, scalability and lower costs associated with deployment, cloud computing will help organizations to achieve those business goals. In the current global economic environment every organization is tasked to do more with shrinking budgets for IT.

By using cloud-based services, organizations are able to tap cost savings over traditional self-hosting of infrastructure and software, enhance system performance, and increase the agility in delivering their products and services to their own customers. Cloud-sourced services can address and resolve a variety of common issues including capital expenditures, operational expenditures, governance, expertise, agility and barriers.


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