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Road to cloud computing to benefit IT contractors

Road to cloud computing to benefit IT contractors

The cloud services market is growing and this could benefit umbrella company contractors and sole traders working in the IT sector.

Gartner, the business and technology research giant, estimates that worldwide revenue this year will reach $68.3 billion, a jump of 16.6% on last year. Gartner also predicts that this strong growth will continue until 2014 when revenue will top £99.7 billion.

North America has been the leading adopter of managed IT services but this is expected to change over the next few years and the UK is expected to account for nearly 30% of the market within the next five years, creating many recruitment opportunities for IT contractors.

But what exactly is cloud computing? The “cloud” is the term used to describe the Internet and the idea behind cloud computing is to put more of your data on the Internet and less on your company PCs and servers.

Companies use cloud computing as a way of outsourcing the maintenance of servers and applications and cut down on hardware costs. There is also the added benefit that you can access data from anywhere providing you have an Internet connection.

In fact, many of us will use cloud computing services without realising we are doing so. SaaS (Software-as-a-service) is a form of cloud computing and Google Docs and Google Mail fall into this label.

SaaS is just one example of the many cloud computing services available to users of cyber space. The use of virtual servers on a pay-as-you-go basis such as Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud is becoming more popular as companies look to save money. Sharing software applications across the cloud is another cost effective way of ensuring your business runs smoothly.

Research VP at Gartner, Ben Pring, said that enterprises are accelerating their adoption of cloud computing services. IT managers are now strategically thinking about deploying cloud services and examining how they can leverage the power of the cloud to improve their IT operations.

The global financial crisis has had a big part to play in the cloud computing explosion. Investing in managed services makes more sense financially than paying out large sums for infrastructure.

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Image: _IGP5461 | 70 by Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)

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