This month’s theme of IEEE Computing Society’s Computing Now magazine is Cloud computing. Here is an article by Neal Leavitt, that discusses whether cloud computing is really ready.
“Cloud computing has become a significant technology trend, and many experts expect it to reshape information-technology processes and the IT marketplace during the next five years. With the technology, users on various types of devices—including PCs, laptops, smart phones, and PDAs—access programs, storage, processing, and even application-development platforms over the Internet, via services offered by cloud-computing providers. Resources are kept on providers’ servers, rather than on users’ systems.
Proponents tout the technology’s advantages, including cost savings, high availability, and easy scalability. Industry observers say the technology’s growth potential is enormous. Market-research firm IDC expects IT cloud-services spending to grow from about $16 billion in 2008 to about $42 billion by 2012, as Figure 1 shows. IDC also predicts cloud-computing spending will account for 25 percent of annual IT expenditure growth by 2012 and nearly a third of the growth the following year.”