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Cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) have emerged as the hot new technology trends in 2009. Companies from Microsoft to Big Blue to Oracle have announced their intentions to move away from their lucrative and proprietary models to address this fundamental shift in how software is delivered.
The shift is not just hype: Microsoft reported in a recent survey that 33 percent of the 1,200 polled organizations plan to convert their application environments away from a traditional, client-server model to one based on virtualization and cloud computing over the next two years.
While promises of cost-savings and lower carbon footprints are highly touted by media and vendors alike, the greatest benefit of SaaS is its ability to liberate corporate IT staffs from routine maintenance and licensing activities in favor of technology initiatives that improve business processes.
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