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That boom you hear? That's the cloud.

Cloud computing is experiencing serious growth - even the Department of Defense is joining the party. However, some people are a little concerned about giving up hard copies and going completely virtual. Getting on this bandwagon is a great idea that can save money and time (assuming the cloud server chosen has a solid reputation). Here are some reasons, posted on an article on HuffingtonPost.com, cloud computing is gaining in popularity.

It Saves Money (and the Environment)
Keeping paper copies, updating them, making more copies to distribute, shredding them, ordering more paper and ink - it's a vicious cycle. Many companies waste serious cash on this process, not to mention the leg work of employees whose sole responsibility is to keep up with the filing. Switching to cloud computing can save a lot of money and trees, which is why many companies are going green and upping the bottom line at the same time.

It Saves Time
All of that updating, filing and printer maintenance wastes precious time that can be better spent elsewhere. Cloud computing also gets rid of the risk of double work. When one employee updates a document but forgets to send it to one person, maybe that one person decides to take on the task herself. This is another cycle that needs to be broken - and cloud computing can do that.

It's Easier
Let's say 10 people all need the latest information on an RFP that's due soon. One person may be in charge of the budget, another the narrative, and of course the Executive Director needs to oversee it all. A lot of meetings, back and forth emails and stress are in order, right? Wrong - if cloud computing is involved. Everyone can see the latest updates from their platform of choice in real-time.

Survey: Cloud Computing Gets Deeper, More Strategic
Survey says: More enterprises are converting to the cloud.

According to a recent survey of 262 enterprise IT and data managers - most with the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), cloud computing continues gaining converts within the enterprise, and is pushing down deep roots within companies that have deployed the approach.

Close to two-fifths of organizations now run private clouds in one form or another, and one-fourth are using public cloud services in an enterprise capacity, according to an article on Forbes.com. Private clouds are being extended deeper into the organizations that have them - a majority expect to be running most of their workloads in the cloud within the next 12 months, especially Platform as a Service middleware. In addition, close to one-third of public cloud users report they are employing hosted services to run their private clouds for them.

In the survey, 37% of enterprise managers indicate they are running or piloting private clouds, up from 29% two years ago. Another 26% use public cloud services for enterprise applications, up from 14%. Among the public cloud users, 32% are employing outside services to host at least part of their private cloud infrastructures.

Opportunities for the Hospitality Industry in Cloud Computing
The hospitality industry would greatly benefit from checking in cloud computing services, according to an article on CloudTimes.org.

There have been many attempts to adopt various technologies for tourism development, but very few have managed to become successful. Most of them are limited to pilot projects or uncompleted prototypes. But one key sector in tourism that has been largely receptive to new technology is the hotel industry, which is also the sector that can benefit greatly from cloud computing technology.

It has been suggested by analysts that the hotel industry's current way of handling information and computer resources will soon be turned upside down with the migration to the cloud, regardless of the size of the hotels concerned. As is the case with firms, cloud computing can greatly lower the time requirements and cost of entry for hotels, as it gives a very pliable scale of computing power that can be distributed across different streams in a relatively short amount of time. It can also provide immediate access to hardware resources without needing any capital investments upfront.

However, like in any other industry, most hotels are using the cloud in conventional ways that prevents them from maximizing the potential of the cloud.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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