In the light of increased economic and competitive pressures, more and more organisations are looking to the cloud.
For many businesses, cloud computing is a very real and effective response to these challenges - saving costs, speeding time to market and generating greater business revenue.
Cloud's ability to provide Web-based software, middleware and computing resources on demand changes the way many companies think about technology.
The reality is that cloud computing gives its users access to resources they need, when they need them.
The scalable, pay-as-you-go nature of cloud computing means that businesses can efficiently and cost effectively expand their services and products to address new market segments and geographies.
Companies no longer have to pay for idle resources.
Cloud also allows users to access the latest software and infrastructure to foster business innovation. It critically frees up IT staff from repetitive, time-consuming tasks so they can focus on more strategic functions.
We are now creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. With the breadth and volume of data continuing to increase exponentially, there is an even greater demand for storage.
IDC has projected total information technology spending to grow five percent in 2012, while hardware and software spending will increase by six percent each this year.
By comparison, IDC forecasted that cloud storage will reach a compound annual growth rate of 28.9 percent between 2010 and 2015.
As businesses grow, the challenges of protecting data, creating capacity for new data, and guaranteeing quick access to data are paramount. Any gap in managing these assets can result in dire consequences for a business: decreased customer satisfaction, lawsuits and a damaged reputation.
Regardless of where an organisation is in terms of cloud adoption, storage must be prioritised, in particular, and how it crosses infrastructure, platform and software solutions.
The dynamic of 'big data' positions cloud storage, which impacts everything from infrastructure to platform and software solutions, as the cornerstone of cloud computing.
Savio Ng is executive, Systems and Technology Group, IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd.
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