The editors of the IT Business Edge Network give their views on what's in store for cloud computing in 2012 and beyond.
In a few short years, cloud computing has gone from a curiosity that most corporate IT departments wouldn't touch or trust to one that's being tested and deployed in more and more enterprises.
Led by applications like CRM, payroll and productivity apps, cloud computing has evolved to the point where it's become part of the enterprise IT conversation - and analysts forecast strong growth in cloud services for years to come. Gartner recently predicted that more than half of Global 1000 companies will have stored sensitive customer data in the public cloud by the end of 2016.
To keep you on top of this critical trend, the editors of the IT Business Edge Network have compiled their views on where cloud computing is today, where it may be headed, and how it could forever alter the enterprise IT landscape.
As James Maguire, senior managing editor of Datamation, put it, "Cloud computing is the great disruptor, in both the technology field and in business in general. ... When services are delivered remotely, does the brand name of the vendor still matter as much? Won't this ultimately work against the larger, entrenched vendors? And in terms of business in general, when a smaller company can rent a competitive IT infrastructure on an as-needed, scalable basis, this gives them a tremendous competitive edge against larger businesses."
Sean Michael Kerner, senior editor of InternetNews.com, said the cloud "solves cost and consolidation issues in a way that no other IT architecture before has ever done."
Not surprisingly, small businesses are leading the way to the cloud. Small Business Computing editor Lauren Simonds predicts that the cloud, "imperfect as it is, will become the new normal for small business in 2012. Pressure's on to compete, and SMBs that do not have the resources (i.e., people, budget and time) can be competitive by taking advantage of cloud applications."