Precisely what that means for would-be providers is not quite so clear, though.
PwC surveyed 489 business executives in an effort to understand the real state of data center management, and the results suggest both increases in traditional data center operations, "private" cloud operations and some increase in public cloud activities. But there will be a huge decline in use of traditional data center services managed by service providers.
Traditional IT outsourcing service providers are about to see their business models and customer value propositions disrupted.
But the essence of cloud computing is a move towards highly standardized racks of commodity servers and a software environment that together make for a highly efficient use of resources. Who needs to outsource to a third party when such capabilities are available?
"We have seen major technology shifts in the data center in the past," says David Stuckey, PwC's US leader of its data center infrastructure practice. "These shifts in reality have just added to the mix in the data center, increasing complexity and cost."Cloud computing, when done right, has the potential to actually replace, and not just augment, legacy environments while adding value by reducing costs and increasing agility," says Stuckey.
Private cloud is infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally.
They have attracted criticism because users "still have to buy, build, and manage them" and thus do not benefit from lower up-front capital costs and less hands-on management, essentially "[lacking] the economic model that makes cloud computing such an intriguing concept".