It’s taken me some time and effort to decode the cloud hype into a coherent value proposition for a business trying to use IT to accomplish business goals, as I’m sure many of you reading this article have had to do. Whether it’s SaaS, PaaS or IaaS, what is the opportunity for businesses? What gains can be made in the real world? Here’s how my analysis/thought process unfolded and perhaps some of you can relate.

I’m old enough (just turned 50) to have been in the computer business back when something that looked an awful lot like “the cloud” was called “time sharing” or a “service bureau.” The former was IaaS or PaaS and the latter was either a SaaS subscription or true utilization model. In fact, for some time in the early days of the business, companies like IBM sold this kind of model regularly.

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