I’ve been closely following cloud computing for a number of years, having posted my first cloud blog in March of 2008. A few months later I gave a presentation at a cloud-based conference. The overall sense at that conference was that something big and profound was emerging in the IT industry. Cloud computing could well be The Next Big Thing - one of those massive changes that the IT industry goes through from time to time that really shake things up, - like the advent of personal computers in the 1980s and the Internet in the 1990s.
Cloud has fulfilled those early expectations, having made much progress in a relatively short time. As I look back at its evolution over the past few years, I think of cloud as having gone through three main, overlapping phases.
Early adopters viewed cloud as computing-on-demand. Next, cloud introduced a much more disciplined approach to the architecture and management of large IT infrastructures. And by now, cloud has become accepted as a major transformational force in IT, in business, and in the economy in general.
Let me discuss each of these phases.