"Cloud is going to be the way that technology pushes," says Todd Bollenbach, principal owner of GNT Solutions, a Sacramento-based company that provides technology support to small and medium-sized businesses.
"A lot of people will hear about cloud computing, and they'll think it's cool, but they don't know how it will directly drive and pertain to their environment," Bollenbach
A major concern with cloud computing is security, which IT executives say is being addressed via private clouds, vigilant monitoring and hybrid solutions where some information and applications are virtual on the cloud and others are in the physical world under lock and key in a data center.
Cloud computing poses a security risk by its very nature: A company's data and programs are stored within a "cloud" along with data belonging to others, who are also accessing the same programs.
"If it's on the cloud, it's out there on the Internet, so you want to make sure when you're sending stuff out there, that those lines of communication are secure," Bollenbach