Cloud computing broadly describes off-premise, on-demand computing where the end-user is provided applications, computing resources, and services (including operating systems and infrastructure) by clouds services provider via the Internet. The hosting industry came out of the need for software and computing services that were managed internally, but were made more economical and accessible through the economies of scale of a hosted implementation.
Most service providers offer cloud computing in the form of VPS hosting, shared hosting, and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Cloud services have long been offered in the form of SaaS, such as Microsoft Hosted Exchange and SharePoint.
Cloud computing is efficient and offers opportunities for increased revenue and new channels for independent software vendors (ISVs), telcos and VARs (in the form of SaaS). It offers on-demand services where customers can pay for what they use, and adjust resources to what they need with no long-term commitment.
For hosters, cloud computing provides tremendous growth potential. The cloud services industry is growing rapidly and is forecasted to be 9% of all IT spending by 2012. Plus, the industry buzz is changing from hosting to cloud computing and SaaS, and your customers will begin to expect you to be an expert in these areas.