NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With cloud computing becoming a mainstream enterprise technology, investors should pay attention to EMC (EMC - Get Report), Salesforce.com (CRM - Get Report) and Rackspace (RAX - Get Report) in 2012.
No longer perceived as a niche corner of the tech sector, a growing number of businesses are harnessing the power of cloud services. Rackspace, for example, counts Kraft Foods (KFT), Under Armor (UA), and Vodafone (VOD), among its customers, while Salesforce.com provides services for HP (HPQ - Get Report) and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
There are different types of cloud technology available for enterprises, from "public" clouds, where customers access services like storage and server power from third-party companies, to "private" clouds, which are run at customers' own sites. Private clouds could be used, for example, to provide company-wide marketing or HR services across multiple locations.Tech research firm IDC estimates that revenue from public IT cloud services alone exceeded $21.5 billion in 2010 and will reach $72.9 billion in 2015, growing four times faster than the IT market as a whole.
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