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Summary:

Here’s hoping 2012 will be the year we separate the wheat from the chaff in cloud computing. At the very least, more businesses will know about the potential benefits and pitfalls of cloud computing so they can differentiate the real from the bogus.

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In 2012, cloud computing will be old enough to do some great things — and to get into trouble.

By next year, more businesses will  know a good bit about the notion of cloud computing — even if they themselves haven’t put corporate applications or data onto public or private cloud infrastructure. C-level executives and their operational troops have at least read up on the subject and faced enough sales pitches that they can differentiate the real from the bogus. And I would bet they all have a passing knowledge of the potential benefits (moving budget from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, the pay-as-you go model, etc.) from the pitfalls (IT cedes control of infrastructure to an outsider) of cloud computing.

In his top 10 cloud predictions for 2012, Forrester Research analyst James Staten said the upcoming year marks the beginning of cloud computing’s “awkward teenage years.” That means there will be some real maturation — and some embarrassing slip ups.

On the plus side, he agrees cloud-savvy customers will mean an end to annoying “cloud washing.” That’s the practice in which a marketer cloaks his or her company in the mantle of cloud computing whether it’s applicable or not.

Also good news is that cloud IT posers will be discovered and shunted aside as more people get trained and gain real experience on cloud deployments. IBM, Hewlett-Packard, EMC and others are all stepping up here. There are more openings for cloud experts than cloud experts to fill them, but new training and certification will address that imbalance: all good things.

Not so good is the prospect of cloud failures. The message here is: Things break; get used to it. “Your company will survive a major cloud outage,” Staten states.  “The sooner you learn to deal with [that] the better off you will be.”

Also scary: There are some ugly regulatory issues on the horizon. Much as parents try to rein in unruly teenagers, governments will try to control the spread of cloud computing. Just as the U.S. Patriot Act gave international companies pause before deploying cloud assets in the U.S., other attempts to regulate, ban or spy on cloud computing assets will constrain growth.  A few months ago, for example, a Deutsche Telekom exec proposed a German cloud that would be safe from U.S. snooping. This attempted imposition of national or other borders on cloud computing could kill off this adolescent before it’s old enough to vote. Bottom line, says Staten: “The Internet knows no bounds and neither should the cloud.”

And as often happens even with well-intentioned “good” teenagers, some executive in the cloud universe will overstep the rules, trying to test compliance regulations in the cloud and will end up in court (or worse) or at least unemployed.

Finally, a topic close to my heart, Staten reiterates the mantra that IT channel players – the companies that sell software, hardware and services to business customers — that haven’t evolved to embrace the cloud better do so now. Or else.  It’ s not a new message, but it still rings true: “For the channel to survive it must add value around cloud services and there’s plenty of opportunity to go around.”

Just as human beings are made stronger by the trials and tribulations they faced as pimply-faced teens, the hope here is that cloud computing will face and survive these challenges, and come out on the other side stronger and more capable.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user GorupKa

  1. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/5io7W7aH @amarchugg #news

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  2. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/83BKk5Uv @amarchugg #news

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  13. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/gYBMwtwj via Barb Darrow

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  14. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm http://t.co/X4epItox #cloudcomputing

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  16. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/cGVXhXjp

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  17. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/cGVXhXjp

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  18. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/cP5AsWHN

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  19. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/c7GxOuf3 #Cloudcomputing

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  21. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/YGH7Hkce

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  25. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/QiNr6PW9

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  27. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/ayKeejqP @GigaOM

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  31. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/ZoVWTBwq

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  32. RT @gigaom: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/cP5AsWHN

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  33. RT @gigaom: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/cP5AsWHN

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  34. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/itZnLgQl RT @gigaom

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  35. gigaom: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/2Gq6zPzB

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  40. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/RiYQYweh | regulating the #cloud will be difficult, like Internet.

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  41. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/gvcQnpi4

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  43. Cloud computing to hit adolescence http://t.co/lQEpwhWE

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  44. Beyond the early adopters. RT @gigaom: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/kbrombRv

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  47. RT @gigaom: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/cP5AsWHN

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  49. In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/Bks9S8tB

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  50. RT @gigabarb: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/O3cvDXOR

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  51. RT @PeerIndex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/Bks9S8tB

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  52. RT @PeerIndex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/05fXZtvd <- Great – a temperamental, rebellious cloud with zits.

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  53. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/TFyWQ6to

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  54. RT @PeerIndex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/Bks9S8tB

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  55. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse: In 2012, cloud computing will be old enough … http://t.co/9SxXccQ6 #gigaom

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  57. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse: In 2012, cloud computing will be old eno… http://t.co/oBV7O6gw Via. GigaOM

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  58. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm http://t.co/XKO03dIx #cloudcomputing

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  60. RT @PeerIndex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/Bks9S8tB

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  61. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/Y2mIKrhv

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  62. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse: Here’s hoping that 2012 will be the year we separate… http://t.co/MkHHmuRF

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  63. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse: This attempted imposition of national or other borde… http://t.co/h0ZMra9f

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  65. #cloud 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/yIuofBET

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  66. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm http://t.co/Wta71R4k

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  67. Cloud gets to teens. Gender not specified. Unisex traits are. http://t.co/FzQT5JFl

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  68. RT @PeerIndex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/Bks9S8tB

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  69. RT @PeerIndex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/86P8LKpd -> Bueno para #iplan

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  70. Cloud computing enters its “teens” in 2012. http://t.co/K0g01tVg

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  71. 2012: Cloud Computing Hits Adolescence For Better Or Worse http://t.co/hPdhrC7g via @zite

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  74. RT @Rimmergram: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/aGBkVWWW

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  75. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse — Cloud Computing News – http://t.co/Fj68Ncc7

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  78. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – what the future holds http://t.co/JzNUDS2h

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  79. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm http://t.co/PxJsV1ja

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  80. 2012: #Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/suMa0Vwy

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  81. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse: Here’s hoping that 2012 will be… http://t.co/NjmTAHTQ CloudComputingTopics

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  83. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm http://t.co/1cCyn0Dm

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  84. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse: 28, 2011, 8:37am PT No Comments In 2012, cloud compu… http://t.co/7H6JjTBp

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  85. RT @gigaom: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/cP5AsWHN

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  86. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm http://t.co/vnsImhoc | (News)

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  87. #CloudComputing http://t.co/Uxa8SecZ it’s still just an “awkward teenager” – still maturing, still having embarrassing slip ups via @GigaOM

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  88. In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/o1TKFPR0 – @PeerIndex #cloud #tech #future

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  89. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/PK6hTWU4

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  90. 2012: Cloud Computing Hits Adolescence For Better Or Worse http://t.co/nDU00bBL via @zite

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  91. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse — Cloud …: Here’s hoping that 2012 will be the year… http://t.co/sr9Cco2y

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  92. #cloudcomputing is growing up http://t.co/qt6JyZyY

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  93. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/rffkgaE5

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  94. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/SezBlQpn

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  95. RT @cirqit Voice cracks, listens to goth. RT @gigaom: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/BtakaF0w #cloud

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  97. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/FZ1IGfOm #cloudcomputing

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  98. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/ovNDhMqh #cloudcomputing

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  99. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse …: Here’s hoping 2012 will be the year we separate … http://t.co/abyyBu3U

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  100. Is 2012 the year of cloud computing? http://t.co/bZ8o8rfR

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  101. RT @seventhman Is 2012 the year of cloud computing? http://t.co/MKYqIfyr: Is 2012 the year of cloud computing? http://t.co/MKYqIfyr

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  102. RT @peerindex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/0ngIo7nH <– What do you think about that?

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  103. RT @peerindex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/OZRMpHAc <– What do you think about that?

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  104. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/gawTpRhi

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  105. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse …: Here’s hoping 2012 will be the year we separate … http://t.co/R2FDN6yq

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  106. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/hDMLVTRg

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  107. 2012: #Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/suMa0Vwy

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  108. 2012: Cloud Computing Hits Adolescence For Better Or Worse http://t.co/3PaKiEjO via @zite

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  109. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm http://t.co/vnsImhoc | (News)

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  110. In 2012, #Cloud #computing will be old enough to do some great things.. http://t.co/DOYVTAzg

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  111. RT @4psa: In 2012, #Cloud #computing will be old enough to do some great things.. http://t.co/qjilhAlH

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  112. 2012: #Cloud #computing hits adolescence for better or worse. http://t.co/UXQlW0Mw @financialforce @onlineaccounting

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  113. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/sX7NRYIj #cloudcomputing

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  114. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/wvMpnpK8 #cloudcomputinghttp://twitter.co… http://t.co/DDSXox5J

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  115. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/Zzv9FBhO

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  116. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/IE9tvmsp

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  117. 2012: #Cloud #computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/etgYHhp7

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  118. RT @nsolop: 2012: #Cloud #computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/etgYHhp7

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  119. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/go7C1WWS

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  120. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/PkpuZfE7

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  121. “Cloud washing” and real maturation-2012 in #cloud terms http://t.co/6UrkzDsc @GigaOm & @BarbDarrow #IaaS #virtualization

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  122. RT @MCWeitz: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/gvcQnpi4

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  123. GigaOm columnist predicts teen angst and triumph for #cloud computing in 2012, http://t.co/0y1rN5Ht

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  124. RT @lluccipha gigaom: 2012: #cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/JzGZAMAk

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  125. Predictions for 2012: the cloud will be a teenager http://t.co/aWE6kAkr

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  126. @2MTechnologies ahhh, kids, just hope we raised em right. RT 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/HVv7fX9L

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  127. RT @PeerIndex: In 2012 cloud computing will hit adolescence http://t.co/Bks9S8tB

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  128. Cloud computing is ready to grow up http://t.co/T1fLqyxb

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  129. 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/zxLJA8rD #cloud #IT #technology

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  130. 2012: #Cloudcomputing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/eKGs58pK

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  131. RT @Andrea_Mauro: RT @Rimmergram: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/aGBkVWWW

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  132. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse — http://t.co/5rj4xuZr

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  133. In 2012, #Cloud #computing will be old enough to do some great things: http://t.co/DOYVTAzg

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  134. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/P2y2Q5W9 #edtech #cloudcomputing

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  135. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/889CJV9O

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  136. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/TjuLJr7M

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  137. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/xCzAAwEf

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  138. 2012: #Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/9UL1LwEL

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  139. RT @petermanidis: 2012: Cloud Computing Hits Adolescence For Better Or Worse http://t.co/3PaKiEjO via @zite

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  140. 2012 will mark an exciting time f/ growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/SoyZPtSl #cloud #IT #technology. Let me know ur thoughts?

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  141. http://t.co/FnTIEeJZ Cloud computing is ready to grow up

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  142. Cloud hits adolescence – http://t.co/gSOHmajr .

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  143. http://t.co/C08jjw2V -2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse
    #elearning #training #computing #cloud #technology

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  144. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/jZsOxOKJ #cloudcomputing #it

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  145. RT @Andrea_Mauro: RT @Rimmergram: 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/aGBkVWWW

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  146. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse — http://t.co/2xrYocy3

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  147. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/MetPMlLK #pdccsd #edchat

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  148. 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/JRZIxja5 #cloud #cio #isv

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  149. 2012 marks the beginning of cloud computing’s “awkward teenage years” http://t.co/73DVA1Rh

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  150. RT @mvisser: 2012 marks the beginning of cloud computing’s “awkward teenage years” http://t.co/73DVA1Rh

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  151. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/PhZO4EGt

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  152. 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/SoyZPtSl
    #adaptivecontrol
    #analytics
    #datamining

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  153. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/6F0B4zWo #edtech #tech

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  154. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse — http://t.co/wNrvroDZ

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  155. In 2012, #cloud computing will be old enough to do some great things| http://t.co/teprTvCj via @gigaom

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  156. Good read – 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse #cloud #cloudcomputing #isv #cio http://t.co/DGzzpR53

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  157. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/C1yRwBSm

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  158. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/PxFXyaoM #cloud #cloudcomputing

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  159. Adding value via cloud is right on. There are many players in the enterprise space, including HP and Dell. Think ACS/Xerox (http://www.acscloud.com/) and Cisco too.

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  160. Enjoyed reading . . RT @wolfpackboss — “2012: cloud computing (http://t.co/9CjQsSrM) hits adolescence for better or worse.”

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  161. 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/JRZIxja5 #cloud #cio #isv

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  162. http://t.co/sXTeMxnG 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm

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  163. In case you missed it: 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/JRZIxja5 #cloud #cio #isv

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  164. I think cloud computing is a good option but of course you have to be safe with it. There are many sites out there including https://www.mypdv.com, http://www.dropbox.com, etc, etc….

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