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Cloud computing was defined by NIST in 2011 as “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction” (nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/SP/nistspecialpublication800-145.pdf). On Gartner’s Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies, cloud computing has cycled from the peak of inflated expectations in 2009 to disappearing from the 2015 list, indicating mainstream adoption and therefore a growing level of understanding of what cloud computing can do for organizations. Given the increasing adoption numbers reported by analyst organizations such as IDC, Gartner, and Morgan Stanley, we can expect more cloud computing usage over the next several decades.

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