IT departments have spent many years plodding behind the scenes, making sure everything stays afloat and performing the important, but menial tasks associated with maintaining internal technological systems. According to a recent report from Windows IT Pro, this will change in 2011, as cloud computing allows companies to flexibly deploy technological resources, freeing IT departments from their maintenance-related tasks.

The report said 2011 will be an important year for cloud growth as the technology has matured and will begin to create true innovation in the enterprise. Through most of 2010, the cloud was used as a tool to take current software programs and integrate them into systems for online deployment. With that process mostly completed, the report said new types of applications that address entirely unique needs will be created for the cloud.

According to a recent report from uptime software, companies moving to the cloud need to be careful about planning and managing their services to avoid pitfalls, including cloud sprawl, platform lock-in and security issues.

Alex Bewley, CTO of uptime software, said cloud computing can have a positive impact on a business' agility and bottom line. However, organizations with poorly managed clouds can be met with disaster as they are overwhelmed by the technology.