Our industry has seen significant developments in the cloud-computing arena over the past four years. We do have an adequate understanding of the context and applications of this emerging paradigm. Also, several conferences and Internet forums have demonstrated the benefits of cloud computing over the past few years.

With all these developments, CTOs and CIOs have come to terms with this evolution and become curious to see ‘Optimization through cloud computing’ (in short, “Clouptimization”). Irrefutably, Clouptimization is going to be the strategic force of 2012 in our industry. Let me share my opinion on how product engineering businesses, enterprise IT departments and other entities can leverage the benefits of the cloud during 2012 and future years.

End-of-life products and non-critical IT applications consume significant computing power, software licenses, storage space and other resources when maintained in-house. Compared to the rest, these products or applications must have had longer lives that they will need to move into retirement homes for optimal maintenance.

A promising option is to consider a service provider that can host such long-lived entities in a private cloud. Another option is to consider a public cloud provider. This is the first step that will enable CTOs and CIOs to realize optimization and focus on new products and applications.

Almost all large businesses deal with voluminous digital content in various forms, including text, graphics, audio and video spread across several data centers in different locations. Classifying and consolidating non-critical digital assets and hosting them on a private cloud will enable optimization. Storage consumption can be on a perpetual basis or on an as-needed basis. It happens in real life, right?

The next one on our list is related to the hosting of corporate home pages or marketing centers. Our ancestors used to guard expensive jewelry and precious metals at home. In the post-industrial era, the concept of lockers in banks or other financial institutions became popular. Our parents and grandparents must have had inhibitions about keeping their valuables in a locker at a bank when this concept was new. As time passed, the demand for bank lockers increased and nowadays customers wait several months to acquire one.

These days, every company hosts its own home page and marketing centers on central servers. These are very valuable. However, it is time to think about leveraging the benefits and flexibility offered in the cloud for hosting websites and marketing activities on cloud.

Secure cloud applications in a pay-per-use model for corporate communication, including e-mail, chat, video and teleconferencing, will revolutionize the industry in future. With such applications in place, businesses will find cloud computing a promising avenue to realize ROI when compared to the traditional way of maintaining expensive servers and products for communication.

About Raja Bavani