The momentum around cloud computing is such that this past year could go down in history as “the great cloud rush of 2009.” In fact, market research firm IDC recently predicted that over the next five years, spending on cloud computing will accelerate, capturing 25 percent of IT spending growth in 2012 and nearly a third of growth the following year. This shift is coming from all corners of the IT world -- from traditional hardware providers, to independent software vendors, to consulting shops that are extensively building out their cloud-consulting offerings.

The recession is the catalyst for this trend. Customers have been forced to reduce capital expenditures and get smarter with IT spending. Services powered by cloud computing and software as a service IT solutions are, quite rightly, perceived by many IT professionals as one of the most attractive routes to achieving dramatic cost savings. For example, in Proofpoint and Osterman Research’s June 2009 survey of 220 technology decision-makers at large U.S. enterprises, more than 40 percent of respondents said that they have or intend to deploy SaaS-based solutions for outbound email or HTTP security in order to reduce costs.

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