Monday, December 6, 2010

Cloud computing grows up

By R. Edwin Pearce

The next year will be big for cloud computing, with the technology transitioning from “early adopter status” into a mainstream platform for IT. That’s according to IDC, a leading research and advisory firm, which ranked the maturation of cloud computing among its top IT predictions for 2011.

IDC predicts that spending on public IT cloud services will grow at more than five times the rate of the IT industry in 2011, up 30 percent from 2010, as organizations move a wider range of business applications into the cloud. Small and medium-sized business cloud use will surge in 2011, with adoption of some cloud resources topping 33 percent among U.S. midsize firms by year’s end.

“[Cloud computing] can no longer be invested in, or managed, as sandbox efforts around the edges of the market. Instead, they are rapidly becoming the market itself and must be addressed accordingly,” warns Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at Framingham, MA-based IDC.

Gens is exactly right. Organizations of all sizes are taking a hard look at cloud-based solutions as a way to avoid the hefty capital investments and ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs associated with traditional on-premise solutions, and to ensure their IT infrastructure remains up-to-date.

In addition to changing the way organizations access business applications, the growth of cloud computing also will bring mobile banking and payments one step closer to reality, IDC predicts. But this also is true of mobile applications in other industries, most notably healthcare and insurance.

What do you think?

R. Edwin Pearce is executive vice president of sales and corporate development at eGistics, Inc. (, a leading provider of hosted solutions for payments and document automation. He can be reached at 214-256-4607 or via e-mail at

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