Cloud computing - what do you think?

The topic of cloud computing is getting hotter by the day (unlike the weather). With it being released in the news yesterday that Gartner’s 2010 CIO survey has revealed the no. 1 technology priority as virtualisation, closely followed by cloud computing at no. 2, it is impossible to ignore the fact that we’re experiencing an ‘IT revolution’.

Each day, there are new reports of industry experts ‘urging firms to adopt cloud computing’ but how do you feel about it and how realistic is this transition for your business right now? Are you attracted to the pay as you go service, or do you still have fears that your security and availability could be endangered in the hosted element?

Gartner predicts that the cloud will open the door to IT leadership focusing on managing results, instead of on managing resources and infrastructure. Says Mark McDonald, head of research for Gartner EXP:

“CIOs see 2010 as an opportunity to accelerate IT’s transition from a support function to strategic contributor focused on innovation and competitive advantage. They have aspired to this shift for years, but economic, strategic and technological changes have only recently made it feasible.”

However, interestingly, InformationWeek’s recent research, has found that only about one-third of IT teams using cloud computing take a strategic view of the technology, whilst 59% of companies using the cloud are treating it solely as a tactical, point solution.

It feels as though people are still learning about the cloud, so we’ve pulled together a couple of articles to help you out with some further reading – aimed specifically at the medium business:

· For a round up of what the world has been saying recently, read the news feature: The Sky is the limit with cloud computing.

· To learn from a medium businesses’ perspective about why the cloud is worthwhile, take a look at the article with our Software-plus-Services UK Lead, Simon Gautrey, ‘Microsoft cloud services: the new model for business computing’.

· Sign up for one of the events we currently have listed to teach you more about the cloud

· To see what all the fuss is about first hand, why not sign up for the free 30 day trial of Microsoft’s cloud solution – Microsoft Online Services.

It would be great to hear your opinion of the trial, and of cloud computing in your business overall.