What does "cloud computing" mean? There seems to be as many definition as there are people talking about it. Some people even say it doesn't exist.
Personally, I think the "cloud" is a surge in business for SaaS and PaaS that was initiated by the advance in hardware virtualization of 2005-2006. This enabled the development of low-cost (or no-cost) virtualization solutions.
EDIT (Copied from my comment)
All this was technically doable before we called it ‘Cloud Computing’. So is the switch from SW virtualization to HW virtualization and the public acceptance of having remote data just a market evolution?
I’m trying to boost my arguments for non-technology people whose choices are driven by trends. First, the new ‘thing’ might look cool but unless you already had a problem to which this is the solution, it’s not necessarily an upgrade. Second, in the case of the Cloud; it’s not completely new. By that I’m saying that if you really had a problem that could be fixed by a Cloud-type solution, you could have fixed it way before the Cloud Wave.
BTW I’m not against the Cloud; I just don’t like the usage of any technology just for hype-sake. There’s definitely cool things that are being done and will be done on the Cloud. Thanks for all the answers!