Considerable hype has surrounded the concept of cloud computing in recent years. According to experienced CIO and cloud expert Fred Mapp, this hype is justified. The cloud, according to Mapp, has much to offer businesses.

In a recent whitepaper, Mapp described the benefits of cloud computing, as well as its different shapes and forms. According to Mapp, many CIOs face competing demands from different groups within their companies.

On one hand, it is their job to ensure business units have access to effective IT functionality. On the other, they often face immense pressure from CFOs to reduce IT costs.

According to Mapp, cloud computing can balance these challenges, by offering a more scalable and flexible IT infrastructure.

“Legitimate concerns exist with any new technology trend or platform," Mapp said. Despite the difficulty of adopting new IT models, however, "today's mobile works and interconnected IT environments demand new approaches to delivering business applications."

According to Mapp, "cloud computing will move to the forefront of the market not just as a buzz word, but will provide significant benefits to companies that embrace it.”

Many CIOs have recognized the benefits offered by cloud computing. According to a recent Gartner study, most CIOs worldwide view cloud computing as their top technology priority for 2011.