What is "Cloud Computing", besides the latest buzzword?

In All, Operate Efficiently, Plan Strategically by Mike Abbott

One industry analyst said recently that cloud computing is defined as whatever the other person is selling. That’s actually somewhat true because cloud computing is a RESULT that combines several established technologies.

New technologies don’t appear suddenly, but instead evolve to a collection of industry leaders and best practices. So before you jump into the marketing allure of “the cloud”, you might discover you are essentially there now! Most of our clients installed partial cloud implementations years, even decades, ago.

Our practical definition is: Applications (computer programs like accounting or mail) delivered over a network connection (internal private network or public internet), requiring no proprietary endpoint (PC, terminal, phone) that can be easily scaled at the host (servers). Typically it’s as simple as programs accessible from your browser.

Some examples of cloud computing installed long ago that you might have are web access to your corporate mail server or your terminal server. Obviously there’s much more that can be done, but for now you can probably brag your business implemented cloud computing years ago. Congratulations on your foresight!