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What is cloud computing and how can an organization decide whether to adopt it? Cloud computing is a distributed computing paradigm that focuses on providing a wide range of users with distributed access to scalable, virtualized hardware and/or software infrastructure over the internet. Despite this rather technical definition, cloud computing is in essence an economic model for a different way to acquire and man-age IT resources. An organization needs to weigh the cost, benefits, and risks of cloud computing in determining whether to adopt it as an IT strategy. This paper seeks to help organizations understand cloud computing essentials, including drivers for and barriers to adoption, in support of making decisions about adopting the approach.
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