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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.

1Embracing 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.

2Cloud 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.

3'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.

4Private, 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.

5Test 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.

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