(The Economic Times) – SAN FRANCISCO: Five years ago, people still spoke of cloud adoption as if they had a choice. 

But at company after company, cloud computing facilities miles away have replaced computer rooms down the office hall, and what once seemed like a choice now looks like an inevitability. 

Businesses are turning to the cloud – that nebulous term that describes computing and applications run remotely over the Internet – to handle their data and computing faster and cheaper, relying on providers like Amazon, Google, SoftLayer, Rackspace and others.

And many of the companies’ employees are turning to consumer cloud services, like Google Docs and Dropbox accounts, to readily access files – work and personal ones – wherever they are, including at home or at the neighborhood Starbucks.

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