1. Mostly Cloudy With A Chance Of Market Growth
Perhaps the biggest story about cloud computing in 2009 was cloud computing itself. Even as some pundits continued to debate the definition of cloud computing, virtually every IT hardware, software and service company sought to define (and in many cases redefine) itself as a cloud-computing vendor. That's not surprising, perhaps, when Gartner puts the 2009 market for cloud computing services at $56.3 billion, growing to $150.1 billion by 2013. (Merrill Lynch goes even further, predicting that revenue from cloud computing services and applications will hit $160 billion by 2011.) Certainly cloud computing isn't a flash-in-the-pan. It's a new paradigm that helps IT managers leverage resources outside their data center, potentially lowering costs and providing unprecedented levels of flexibility.
But Gartner also had a point earlier this year when it called cloud computing the most hyped subject in IT. And a McKinsey & Co. report added fuel to the fire by questioning the value of cloud computing, even saying it could double data center costs for large companies. At times in 2009 all the breathless talk of cloud computing had faint echoes of the giddy dot.com era in the late 1990s -- and we all know how that turned out. Here's hoping the promise of cloud computing proves to be more real.