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Will Cloud Moves Continue into 2011?

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Any technology observer with a pulse is familiar with the term cloud computing. As far as media saturation and buzz-building, “cloud” was hard to beat in 2010. But as end-of-the year retrospectives tout the year in all things cloud, some are saying: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

Ed Meagher, vice president of healthcare strategy at government-contracting firm CSC, said 2011 will see even greater gains, in no small part because of the cloud’s ability to provide companies and government agencies a return on investment, and then some.

“People have heard cloud computing for years, and now all of a sudden this is money,” he  told Federal News Radio.

The list of federal agencies and departments dipping their toes into the cloud pool picked up near year’s end, and will likely continue.

Both the General Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced moves to shift email services to cloud platforms.

The Treasury Department redesigned its website, including a shift to the cloud, which Federal News Radio reports, is the first cabinet-level agency to do so.

Finally, the administration provided a capstone to the cloud year with the announcement of a new “cloud-first” policy: mandating federal agencies to shift at least one service to the cloud in a year.

From the private sector, industry giants Amazon, Google and Microsoft quickly pulled ahead in the race to develop solutions. But, at year’s end, there was still no clear-cut winner and the field was still wide open.

According to Washington Business Journal, “No technology vendor has emerged as the undisputed king of federal cloud services,” and despite the big cloud names so far, “it’s just too early for any vendor to fairly claim market dominance in the emerging cloud-computing arena.”

For a list of the year’s biggest cloud-computing stories, from the stumbles of Google’s Datastore to Salesforce’s Chatter success, check out InformationWeek’s list of the Top 10 Cloud Stories of 2010.

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