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

Last updated:September 2013

Editor's note

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.

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