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Worldwide IT services deals with a cloud computing element have tripled since 2010, according to research from IT outsourcing consultancy ISG.

According to an article on ComputerWeekly.com, ISG used its TPI index to analyze IT outsourcing deals and found 2012 will bear 300 IT contracts awarded that involve cloud computing services. This compares with 110 in 2010 and 220 in 2011.

Stanton Jones, emerging technology analyst at ISG, said the move to standardized platform-based services which are difficult to customize is a step-change for the IT services sector.

"Cloud services, especially shared platforms, are a new terrain for providers and clients alike, as they are highly standardized and can't be easily customized - the antithesis of traditional outsourcing," said Jones.

He added that the greatest potential for growth and momentum is in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) - especially for human resources (HR), customer relationship management CRM) and collaboration.

Jones said Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will lag behind SaaS in enterprise-wide adoption.

Cloud Computing: The Semi-Secret Economic Equalizer
Businesses in developing countries are reaping the benefits of cloud computing - perhaps to better effect than domestic U.S. organizations, according to an article on InformationWeek.com.

UCSD's Guardian magazine reports on an often-overlooked aspect of cloud computing. According to the university's researchers, "developing countries are utilizing the growing adoption of 'cloud computing' - the use of consumer devices to access remote computer and information resources - to expand their economic role in an increasingly global economy."

As the study shows, the cost efficiencies of cloud computing are the same in Third World countries as in the developed world, and up-and-coming nations can now leverage data, applications and infrastructure that were once cost prohibitive. In turn, this increases commerce by facilitating the countries' entrance into the global markets, writes InformationWeek's David Linthicum.

In the past, new technology was often out of reach for poorer countries, but cloud computing breaks the mold, as it's both affordable and effective. This is analogous to the adoption of smartphones in countries that never created a fully functional wired infrastructure; instead, they jumped right into newer wireless devices and built cell towers. Now, they have better cellular coverage than many areas in the United States.

Top Cloud Computing Myths
InformationWeek put out an interesting take on its perceived "dumb myths" in the world of cloud computing.

The article even addresses the vaporous definition of cloud.

"The heart of cloud computing revolves around a new pattern of distributing computing power, not a new technology. In this new pattern, the end user has much more control than he used to over a powerful, remote server owned by somebody else. That control can extend up to the point where he achieves programmatic control over the server, if desired. Getting that control while engaging in one of the lowest-cost forms of computing is the heart of the cloud, an emerging relationship between the end user and publicly accessible data services," writes InformationWeek's Charles Babcock.

The myths that are most difficult to bust, according to the article, are the ones involving cloud costs. There are many circumstances where monitoring cloud usage gets away from IT managers. They lose track of what employees have spun up; at the end of the month IT is presented with a big, surprising bill.

Before any cost comparison can be made, the cloud customer needs to know what specific operations in his own data center cost - a major research project. Some IT organizations do not have a true measure of total data center cost.

Have a look here at the list of the top cloud myths that continue to perplex prospective cloud users.

About Patrick Burke
Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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