A History of How We Got to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is not just a technical orientation, a set of computer architectures, or computing standards developed by the technocrats of the twenty-first century. It is a new way to deliver information systems (IS) that require new business policies; it is a strategic orientation driven by changes in technology that enable rapid business innovation. Cloud computing is enabled by many technologies, but more important than the technologies, cloud computing is a new way to deliver IS and information technology (IT). Many of the old ways (if you can call five years ago “old”) are still around and are needed. However, the organization that wants to be competitive has to closely examine cloud computing as a strategic initiative.

The decision to build and fund a cloud computing strategy is one that must be driven by the highest levels of your organization. Making the decision to move from a traditional in-house technology strategy (possibly a “bare metal server approach”) to a cloud computing strategy represents substantial exposure for the organization in the form of risk and expense, but the benefits of a successful cloud computing strategy will far outweigh that risk and expense. Those benefits include the potential for greater innovation, faster time to market, greater market share, and greater customer loyalty.

In this chapter, a brief history is given to introduce how the evolution of technology has brought us to cloud computing. ...

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