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Cloud services and a changing workplace

The Guardian - Cloud services can play an important role in reviving the UK's flagging economy, but to what extent will the technology reshape business practices – and what will it cost?

Two of the most pressing issues facing the UK today are public sector efficiency and reinvigorating the small and medium enterprise sector. "Both of these things can benefit from cloud-based infrastructure and software models," said analyst Jeremiah Caron.

Caron was speaking last month at a seminar, hosted by the Guardian in association with Huawei, on the role of the cloud in the information economy. "Adoption of cloudbased computing is still relatively low, but growing rapidly," he added. According to his company's 2011 survey of 1,000 businesses worldwide, 63% of companies say that the cloud meets less than 5% of its IT needs, but the survey also shows that cloud usage is expected to double within two years and to continue growing.

"The cloud is one of the most overhyped things I've seen," said Caron, "but sometimes hype is there for a reason.

There are very good reasons why people are paying so much attention."