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The 'cloud' in cloud computing has been an information technology buzzword for as long as I can remember.
Succeeding recent favourites such as the mainframe, PC and of course the World Wide Web, cloud computing is now going mainstream. And according to many, it's the latest and greatest technology trend transforming the way we do business on a global scale.
Indeed, according to one particular analyst house, the cloud computing market is growing at such a rapid rate that it is expected to exceed $25 billion by the end of 2013. Another suggests that cloud computing is one of the four big trends that will change IT in the next few years and estimates in parallel that the cloud computing market will be worth some $150 billion by 2013.
But despite these somewhat bold predictions, others maintain that cloud computing is hyped, and will only complement more traditional models of computing rather than directly replace them.
As you might well imagine, Amadeus' view is very firmly in the camp of the former - to us the benefits of cloud computing to businesses are both tangible and obvious: put very simply cloud computing allows commerce to be cheaper, quicker, up-to-date, scalable and more accessible. And in fact, if we look at the airline sector in isolation, it seems that the majority of airlines agree that cloud solutions are the future with some 88% of airlines saying that they will have, or plan to have, cloud SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions by 2014 according to a recent report. The top reasons for this were to reduce costs (72%) and to increase service levels (61%).
Amadeus has actually been providing cloud computing related services for the past 20 years across its range of airline IT solutions and also its distribution services. Specifically, the Amadeus community cloud consists of Amadeus’ own portfolio of cloud SaaS solutions, and its community hosting and data processing facility based in Erding, Germany which delivers on airlines’ IT hardware needs. Amadeus' community cloud is in turn supported by its own technology leadership in open systems architecture, virtualisation, software development, secure networking and resilience. With this in mind Amadeus’ ultimate goal is to have the capability to adjust infrastructure capacity dynamically and in real-time, in order to adapt to changes in workload and demand.
For more information on cloud computing, take a look at this Amadeus report.