Of late there has been a great deal of news passing across the wire regarding cloud computing.  More companies are getting involved, including many telco operations; more concerns being raised over private v. public clouds; and general concerns over security have been the topics that seems to draw the most attention.  To me this is all a very good thing as it means there is a maturing of cloud computing to the point that it can be critical element in the growth of relevant applications.  Relevant applications, those that have the greatest value to end users, are greatly enhanced by the ability to gather information, process information and act on information in a distributed manner.  The easiest example is the Smart Grid for the utility networks.  Having all the computing power available through cloud computing ensures real-time processing and acting on changes of information in a timely manner.  Once the smart grid goes beyond smart meters and basic power consumption monitoring applications into weather dependent, time dependent, and demand dependent planning/execution,  have distributed processing becomes a very important piece of the puzzle.  These new policy based applications will need to be set by the user or power company, monitored in real-time and provide exception reporting/resolution – it will be much more difficult to successfully implement these applications on a broad scale from a centralized location/data center.  Being able to take advantage of locality and the power of cloud computing will make broad adoption more reachable.  There are going to be issues over security and how the implementation will occur – that’s to be expected.  That is why the current influx of information and new news is welcomed as the debate and the issues must be resolved to ensure that things are done correctly. Correctly so that Cloud computing can play the necessary and vital role for relevant applications.