The government's communications minister Ed Vaizey has come out in support of the economic benefits of cloud computing.
In a speech given on Monday at the UK-China Internet Forum, Vaizey said cloud computing would open the door to more business opportunities for companies.
"Access to the network resources provided by 'clouds' enables companies to enter markets without having to meet the capital costs of building their own computer infrastructure," he said. "What they get instead is a sort of 'pay as you go' service tailored to their [the companies'] specific requirements."
Companies such as Dell, EMC and HP have stressed that the use of cloud services can shift companies' spending away from capital items, such as IT equipment, into rolling operational expenditures, such as pay-as-you-go cloud provisioning.