Throughout 2010 there was a lot of talk about cloud computing, but much of the buzz was around what the term actually meant rather than what the technology does.
For the chief information officer of Dell, Robin Johnson, the answer is simple: "It's about making applications available to firms of any size."
He expands on this point by explaining that cloud computing is levelling the playing field for the use of applications among businesses.
"In the past only large enterprises could have made use of something like Salesforce.com but with the cloud it becomes open to all organisations for the same relative price," he says.
"You'll see more technology being used like this in ever smaller companies."
Johnson’s view goes against the grain on software as a service, which is generally perceived as ideal for small firms, but a harder sell for large organisations due to issues around control and security.
However, while he believes cloud has a massive role to play in the future, he doesn't believe that the technology will become the only way applications and services are accessed and delivered.
"I think around 30 to 40 per cent of infrastructure and applications will be deployed through the cloud, but it won't be 100 per cent" he said.
Johnson, who is responsible for the entire internal IT provisioning of Dell, as well as some forward-facing aspects of the businesses, like the company's web site, Dell.com, is also a big fan of virtualisation.
"In the last 24 months we've gone through a big virtualisation push to improve the efficiency of the utilisation of our infrastructures," he explained.
"It's important for us, as a major firm offering these sorts of technologies to our customers, to ensure that we ourselves are at the leading edge of what this technology does, so we can talk to customers from a position of experience. "
Dell itself is clearly backing the virtualisation horse after it confirmed earlier in December that it is to acquire storage firm Compellent in an $820m (£517m) deal, which will help it expand its offerings in the virtualised storage space.
The acquisition comes a few months after the firm was caught up in a hugely protracted financial battle with HP for 3Par, eventually losing out, but clearly feeling it needed to make an acquisition in this space regardless.
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