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Cloud computing is a consequence of economic, commercial, cultural and technological conditions that have combined to cause a disruptive shift in Information Technology (IT) towards a service-based economy. The underlying driver of this change is the commoditisation of IT. While there are many well-documented benefits of cloud computing from economies of scale to acceleration of speed to market, there are also three main groups of risks associated with it; the risk of doing nothing, transitional risks related to this disruptive change in the industry and the general risks of outsourcing. Canonical's view is that open source technology will help solve many of these latter concerns by not only enabling enterprises to deploy, experiment and test cloud computing concepts behind the firewall, but also by encouraging the formation of competitive marketplaces based around standards.
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