The "cloud" is an outsourced hosting provider. Nothing more, nothing less.
The value of said hosting is the same as always. Value for the money. Anybody considering it has to consider the cost/benefit of outsourcing vs. DIY. They also have to consider performance, redundancy, security and more importantly ownership of data. It does not matter if it is a direct line hosted provider or an Internet based Cloud provider. Same shit, different pile.
So please, shut the fuck up about the importance of the cloud. It's part of an outsourcing trend, and I've been there before. It ain't appropriate for all companies no matter how you slice it.
This line slays me:
"Cloud computing will top the Internet in importance as development of the Web continues, according to a university professor who spoke Friday at the World Future Society conference in Boston."
Seeing as how the "cloud" requires the "Internet", that statement is faintly ridiculous. Its like saying your lips are more important than your face.
Also, "The cloud is even more important than the Web"
You know what else is more important than the web? E-mail. Businesses live and die by e-mail. More businesses can do without websites than they can without e-mail. But whatever. At some point organizations need everything they use. "Importance" only comes into play after a disaster and you have to bring stuff up in a particular order. Trumpeting one or the other is self glorifying mental masturbation.
Importance is relative. It is also unimportant when discussing cloud computing. Security, Stability, Performance, Price. That's what matters. That's what always matters.
Outsourcing is a tool, just like anything else. And the value of that tool is up to each organization to decide. Promoting the "cloud" over anything else is like promoting a contractor over owning your own hammer. Sometimes you need both, sometimes you need one or the other. It all depends.
So shut up please. Your hyperbole is giving me a headache.
UPDATER: This guy gets it.