The term 'cloud computing' is one of the most widely used in the IT industry today. To some, it means revolution and a fundamental shift in the way IT services are delivered to both businesses and consumers. To others, it's just about marketeers dressing up old ideas in new clothes in an attempt to encourage another round of spending on technology and services.
The truth is probably somewhere in between. While there is no denying that a bandwagon is rolling, and many suppliers and pundits are jumping on it whether they are justified in doing so or not, some very interesting developments are coming together that are extremely significant. Whether these ideas are totally transforming the world of IT is debatable; perhaps a more accurate description would be to say that a range of significant developments are taking place that together will enable a step change in the ongoing evolution of IT service delivery.
Within this paper, we will be reviewing some of these developments, and with a view to the more practical concept of evolution rather than revolution, will be looking at how things can be worked into mainstream IT activities in an incremental manner. Our aim is not to 'sell cloud', but to simply provide guidance on what it translates to in terms of tangible and actionable specifics.
As we get into the discussion, you may pick up ideas on where some of the capability often referredto under the cloud computing umbrella might be used to deal with immediate needs. Given that cloud computing, as we shall see, is as much an approach as it is a range of technologies and services, you may even discover that you are already 'doing it' at one level or another.
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