Cloud computing is an emerging computing technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth. Cloud computing is broken down into three segments: "applications," "platforms," and "infrastructure." Each segment serves a different purpose and offers different products for businesses and individuals around the world. In June 2009, a study conducted by VersionOne found that 41% of senior IT professionals actually don't know what cloud computing is and two-thirds of senior finance professionals are confused by the concept, highlighting the young nature of the technology. In Sept 2009, an Aberdeen Group study found that disciplined companies achieved on average an 18% reduction in their IT budget from cloud computing and a 16% reduction in data center power costs.
What does a Shift Towards Cloud Computing Mean?
So who is affected by a paradigm shift in the computing industry? The shift would affect companies a few different sub-industries including software companies, internet service providers and hardware manufacturers. Companies in each of these industries will face significant change if cloud computing is to be the next step for the industry. While it is relatively easy to see how the main software and internet companies will be affected by such a shift, how companies in the internet and hardware industries will be affected is slightly more difficult.