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A balancing act

What cloud computing means for business, and how to capitalize on it


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Like any emerging competitive technology, the facts about cloud computing are often obscured by technical jargon and confusing messages. But despite the hype, the potential business benefits as well as the strategic and business impact of cloud computing are significant.
To avoid the technical confusion that surrounds cloud computing, this report will answer the following questions in business terms:

  • How is cloud computing changing the way IT services are purchased?
  • How can cloud computing disrupt entire industries and enable new business models?
  • What legal and governance hurdles must be addressed for cloud computing to achieve its full potential?
  • What are some examples of where cloud computing makes sense today – and some where it doesn’t?

With these questions in mind, business leaders must address many complex issues and understand the key to unlocking the new opportunities presented by cloud computing.

As the market for cloud computing matures, the consumption models discussed above will likely become the standard for IT services. But until then, it’s important to understand where cloud computing makes the most sense, and where it doesn’t.

How cloud computing is disrupting the IT industry 

It’s the secret most established IT companies don’t want to talk about. The rise of cloud computing to meet growing demand has the potential to drive a major restructuring of the IT industry. With increasing scale and critical mass, innovative new services will likely position cloud computing to replace large swathes of existing systems.

Whether this occurs through internal private clouds or external public clouds, it represents a huge architectural shift. And it’s gaining momentum. A 2009 report by Gartner estimated the U.S. market revenue for cloud computing in 2008 at US$3.5 billion, and forecasted compound growth of 40 percent between 2008 and 2013, reaching an estimated US$18.6 billion in 20131.

 

Cloud computing will play a major part in the future of IT and will present significant opportunities for companies. Although it might not be ready for every situation – at least not yet – business leaders generally agree the value is real. They know they must think strategically about how cloud computing has a potential impact and start getting ready for the outcome.

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