Essential Guide

The history of cloud computing and what's coming next: A CIO guide

In this CIO Essential Guide, learn about the evolution of cloud computing and how to utilize and implement cloud technologies in your organization.

Introduction

The fundamental concept of cloud computing originated in the 1950s, when corporations and learning institutes prioritized the efficiency of their large-scale mainframe computers, allowing multiple users both physical access to the computer from multiple terminals as well as shared central processing unit time. But it really wasn't until the past decade or so that cloud computing really started to develop into the behemoth we know today.

After the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, companies such as e-tail giant Amazon.com Inc. played a key role in the development of cloud computing. The present availability of high-capacity networks and low-cost computers, together with the widespread adoption of virtualization and service-oriented architecture, have led to the version of cloud computing we know today -- and a model that is constantly evolving.

This CIO guide on cloud computing explores the journey from early cloud implementations to where we find ourselves today, putting everything and anything into the cloud and offering many, many applications as a service.

This CIO Essential Guide on the history and evolution of cloud computing is part of SearchCIO's CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

1EARLY CONSIDERATIONS-

Putting applications in the cloud

In the early days of cloud computing, CIOs struggled to understand what this new technology had in store for their organization and how they could maximize their cloud ROI. In these stories and tips, learn about the potential benefits of enterprise cloud computing and find answers to some of your burning cloud questions.

News

Cloud computing answers straight from the providers

Do cloud providers offer better security than traditional on-premises technologies do? How do cloud providers learn from outages? In this news article, major cloud providers react to customers' lingering concerns about the cloud computing model. Continue Reading

Opinion

Clarify cloud perks, then implement

Do you have a clear understanding of what cloud means? In this CIO Outlook column, Harvey Koeppel compares the cloud to breath mints and highlights the advantages of incorporating cloud computing into the enterprise. Continue Reading

Feature

Adoption driven by agility and cost savings

If she had her way, University of Michigan CIO Laura Patterson would never build another physical data center at her school. Read how Patterson hopes to gain competitive advantage, thanks to her early adoption of cloud computing. Continue Reading

Feature

Mature offerings meet user needs

As cloud services become more sophisticated, CIOs inch towards early adoption. In this feature, Aquent CIO Larry Bolick suggests that cloud technology gets better as it matures, and assures readers that there are "as a Service" features for almost every IT function. Continue Reading

Feature

Q&A: A fundamental shift to the cloud

How does cloud computing compare to other major enterprise technology shifts? David Linthicum, senior vice president for Cloud Technology Partners, weighs in on the full range of as-a-Service offerings on the market, and the "total disconnect" between people at the bleeding edge of cloud and those invested in traditional IT. Continue Reading

Opinion

Cloud hesitations debunked

In this column, SearchCIO editorial director Christina Torode takes leaders through the multiple benefits of public cloud computing. Topping Torode's list are cost savings, improved disaster recovery capabilities and the ability to create an on-demand infrastructure that lends itself to business agility. Continue Reading

2Videos-

Embracing cloud computing: Advice from those who've succeeded

Watch as experts and practitioners from across industries, including education, consulting and pharmaceuticals, share their cloud computing success stories.

Video

MIT takes learning to the cloud

In this video interview, Anant Agarwal, professor and edX president, introduces us to an online digital learning platform that leverages cloud applications and stands to redefine the educational system.

Video

Aquent puts applications in the cloud

CIO Larry Bolick explains the decisions that went into moving nearly all of his company's front-office applications to the cloud.

Video

IaaS propels organizations forward

As organizations grow, storage and capacity considerations become increasingly important. Nathan McBride, vice president of IT at AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc., discusses why his company turned to Infrastructure as a Service providers to house and protect confidential patient data.

3BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS-

Cloud one, cloud all: Welcoming new ideas

Cloud computing can offer a cost-efficient solution to running everyday IT functions in the enterprise. As a result, CIOs began reevaluating their cloud concerns and asking, "Do the pros outweigh the cons?" In the following pieces, CIOs tell us how they assessed their IT needs and tackled common cloud-related challenges.

Feature

Mitigating risk in the cloud

Is cloud security risk a barrier to cloud services adoption at your company? Richard Dorough coaches CIOs to push concerns aside and ask better questions about the business value associated with data stored in the cloud. Continue Reading

News

On the CIO agenda: Creating cloud SLAs

Although vendors might tell CIOs otherwise, as cloud use expands, so does the need for cloud service-level agreements. Learn more in this news story by Senior Features Writer Karen Goulart. Continue Reading

Opinion

IT infrastructure strategies shift with the cloud

When searching cloud on Google, you might be surprised to find that the first reference to the word as a meteorology term doesn't even make the first page of results. Harvey Koeppel explains what the explosion of cloud computing means for IT infrastructure strategies. Continue Reading

Tip

Should you choose a hybrid cloud?

To avoid public cloud challenges such as vendor lock-in and potential outages, some IT leaders are opting for a hybrid cloud strategy. Still, Gartner Inc. research vice president Chris Wolf explains that a blend of private and public cloud services presents its own set of integration and management challenges. Continue Reading

News

IBM takes the cloud plunge

IBM has been offering cloud services for years, but the technology and consulting giant recently doled out $2 billion for cloud computing company SoftLayer. For all cloud holdouts, this should prove a point about where IT is migrating: up, up and away into the clouds. Learn more in this SearchCIO Searchlight. Continue Reading

Tip

Do DR services belong in the cloud?

What are your disaster recovery (DR) requirements? Based on your current DR arrangement, what value can cloud DR services deliver? In this tip, learn what DR expert Paul Kirvan advises when it comes to mitigating DR services to the cloud. Continue Reading

4Glossary-

'Cloud this' and 'cloud that': Terms to know

Cloud computing is sometimes so complicated as to be indescribable. Make sure you're hip to all of the latest cloud jargon before pursuing cloud technologies at your organization.

5Cloud technologies-

Private, public, SaaS, oh my!

With cloud computing becoming a widely accepted pursuit in the realm of enterprise IT, CIOs and IT leaders are spending more time weighing the pros and cons of different technologies by asking: Is private better than public? Is it OK to invest in multiple cloud providers? What security measures are absolutely necessary when it comes to the cloud? In these pieces, learn how CIOs have used specific technologies in the cloud to propel their business forward -- or up, up and away.

Feature

Celtics win with cloud use strategy

How did Rajon Rondo become an NBA all-star? Raw talent, practice, great coaching and -- the cloud. In this feature, read how Jay Wessland, vice president of IT for the Boston Celtics, turned to cloud applications to set this legendary basketball franchise up for success. Continue Reading

News

Making email better, faster and cheaper

CIO innovator Walter Weir set out to make the email system at the University of Nebraska better, faster and cheaper. Learn how a blueprint for cloud migration put his university on track by finding a solution that worked, training current IT workers, and getting faculty and staff on board. Continue Reading

News

Rebounding from disaster with single sign-on

Following Hurricane Katrina, many companies were forced to rebuild their IT systems. In the case of Schumacher Group, a provider of medical informatics to 2,500 emergency room physicians nationwide, systems needed to rebound quickly, so CIO Douglas Menefee dreamed up a single sign-on in the cloud. Learn more in this news piece. Continue Reading

News

Cloud-based, SaaS BI applications gain traction

Would a cloud-based business intelligence application work for your organization? It worked for Jim Szatkowski, vice president of technical and data services at Distribution Market Advantage Inc., who cited easy setup, cost-effectiveness and faster time to value as major bonuses. Continue Reading

Feature

Mixcloud focuses on data in real time

In this feature story, learn how Mixcloud chief technology officer and founder Mat Clayton is leveraging real-time data analytics to change how his company views data internally and how its users monitor how personal content is performing. Continue Reading

6Quiz-

Test your IQ of all things cloud

Cloud computing seems to be on everybody's minds, but IT departments worldwide are still weighing the pros and cons of making the transition. Do you know all about the cloud and what it's got in store? Test your knowledge of the history of cloud computing and its future and form a more complete cloud vision for your organization.

TEST YOUR CLOUD IQ

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