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The Cloud in Your Hand

What this means for investors is that, over time, you get a rotation away from cloud specialists toward enterprise generalists. There are huge opportunities in re-writing client-server applications to run on cloud stacks, in building and managing a new class of smaller, cloud-compatible data centers. This is the kind of work in which companies including IBM (IBM) and HP have specialized for decades.

The cloud is something you can buy, rent or build yourself. Everyone in the computing space now seems to understand this. The whole industry is adapting itself to this new reality. Like the revolutions that came before it, this is crushing margins and crushing whole sectors of the old industry.

Anyone who is specializing in the old enterprise space, with its client-server architectures and high-end servers, is vulnerable to the new era of cloud as product as well as service. In the end, it all becomes software, software that runs on standardized hardware. Networking becomes software, storage becomes software, computing becomes software.

I want to end this close to where I began it, with Piston Cloud. Everything in the cloud space is evolving, as previous generations of computing did, toward something you can hold in your hand. Know this trend, and evaluate your cloud technology portfolio based on it.

At the time of publication, the author was long IBM, YHOO and GOOG.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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