Will cloud computing save the economy?

A recent survey shows that IT leaders are more ready to adopt cloud computing, an indication they see growth coming.

As CRN reported, “68 percent of respondents said cloud computing will help their businesses recover from the recession” in a survey of more than 600 IT and business decision makers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore on behalf of cloud infrastructure and hosted IT provider Savvis.

The survey found that 96 percent of IT decision makers are as confident that cloud computing is ready for the enterprise, more so than in 2009, and that “7 percent of IT decision makers said they use or are planning to use enterprise-class cloud computing solutions within the next two years.” So will this fuel economic growth?

While this is good news, it is perhaps a stretch to focus on cloud computing as something that will “fuel economic growth.” Cloud computing is very effective, but the chances that business channels in two years will cover it as an economic change engine are iffy — it’s an expectation that’s unrealistic to ask cloud computing, or any technology, to live up to.

A more realistic opportunity is growth in the cloud computing technology space, as providers ramp up for a hoped-for market explosion, and more venture and public money flows into the cloud computing technology companies. Much like the explosion of the Web in the 1990s, it could be the catalyst that gets more investment dollars back into technology — and translates into jobs and the building of wealth. Now that will fuel the tech economy at least.

At the same time, I’m sure that enterprises and government agencies will find a use for and value in cloud computing, but the savings won’t be apparent until 2013, if past patterns are a meaningful guide. Moreover, it will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Like other hyped technologies, we won’t understand the true benefits until after — well, it’s no longer being hyped, and surveys such as this are long forgotten.

This article, “Will cloud computing save the economy?,” originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum’s Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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