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As hype dies down, companies are seeing real success in their cloud deployments, and money is pouring in.

By David Linthicum

Despite some setbacks, such as the recent Amazon Web Services outages, cloud computing is beginning to cross from the experimental phase to production systems that businesses can rely on. This has not been an overnight occurrence: Enterprises have been quietly getting smart about cloud computing technology and applying it where appropriate.

Despite years of cloud hype by vendors, you rarely hear about enterprise successes. That's because when enterprises make cloud computing work, they view the application of the technology as a trade secret of sorts, so there are no press releases or white papers. Indeed, if you see one presentation around a successful cloud computing case study, you can bet you're not hearing about 100 more.

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The hype is waning, replaced by real deployments. There are two reasons for that success.

  1. Developers are driving much of the success because they embraced the cloud computing model early and transferred their skill sets to the cloud. They do so for selfish reasons: better pay. However, I've found them to be true believers in this technology. They're learning to bring together business applications and cloud computing. Cloud computing providers understand this situation and have spent millions to attract developers to their respective cloud platforms.
  2. Moving to the cloud is now politically correct. Just a few years ago, most people in IT viewed the rise of cloud computing as a threat. Now it's more acceptable to use public or private cloud computing resources. Indeed, it's become riskier not to have some cloud computing projects in your shop.

You see this in the amount of money invested in cloud computing -- it's accelerating, with no sign of tapering off. Companies and investors put their money where the value is.

With the release of Google Compute Engine, as well as recent cloud computing technology announcements from Hewlett-Packard and the telcos, it's clear that companies large and small are making the commitment. There are now careers, share prices, and bonuses tied to the success of cloud computing in a big way. Those vested in it will hustle like hell to make cloud computing work for them. Some will fail, but the sheer amount of money riding on this technology will ensure that it functions well in the longer term.

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