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To the Cloud?

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Although it is often used as a metaphor for the Internet, "cloud computing" is a new generation of computing that is Internet-based. Cloud computing enables banks to use applications and tap into resources on an as-needed basis, rather than needing to buy, install and maintain costly applications and personnel in-house. All this is done securely through the Internet or "cloud," which is, at its most basic level, virtual servers available over the Internet. Gartner, a consulting firm, recognizes the need for cloud computing for financial institutions and other enterprises to remain competitive and includes the technology as one of its top 10 strategic technologies for 2011. Banks can take advantage of cloud computing to receive critical IT services on demand, including storage, networks and servers. There are several advantages to cloud computing: 1. Reduced expenses for capital expenditures and personnel. 2. Better ability to adapt to changing business models. 3. Shared costs.

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