Some people might be surprised to hear me say that cloud computing will emerge in 2009; after all, few technologies are receiving as much attention and hype right now than cloud computing.
While some of the hype is misdirected and undeserved, for the most part cloud computing is earning the attention that it's getting. One need only look at the recent DEMOfall and TechCrunch50 conferences to see how important cloud computing is.
At both of these shows, cloud computing touched a very large number of the products and companies that were launched, and not just in the focus of the products themselves.
Many of the new products that debuted at these shows-and those that rolled out elsewhere in recent weeks-rely on cloud computing for their entire infrastructure and computing resources. These startups aren't spending a lot of their limited capital on server farms and other IT infrastructure.
Instead, they are using platforms such as Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and Salesforce.com's Force.com to run and deliver their application to customers. As these platforms have grown in popularity, the vendors have simply added more capabilities.
The startups are on the cutting edge in many ways, and more established companies have yet to follow. However, I expect this trend to continue in the next year.
With the economy not expected to rebound any time soon, the ability to build a Web presence and deliver resources to customers using a cloud computing platform will become attractive to not just startups but also more established companies. In addition, as the cloud computing platforms become more agnostic about the types of virtual machines they allow, it will be easier for companies to use the cloud for any type of application that they want to deploy.