IT departments face the challenge of making technology available to business users through the web while retaining control of security and data.
The future could see a user request a service and the public cloud delivering the most appropriate application automatically according to the price and security demanded by the user.
To this end, businesses are building private clouds as a stepping stone to public clouds, according to Gartner. The analyst firm says companies will spend more on developing private clouds than they will on services from cloud suppliers.
"The hype of cloud computing is that existing IT architectures and processes can be simply replaced by the cloud," says Tom Bittman, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.