Cloud Computing: A Brief History of How it all Started


The idea of network-based computing dates back to the 1960s. This means cloud computing has been around for over half a century! The term came into its modern usage after 2006, with tech giants like Google and Amazon officially calling this new paradigm ‘cloud computing’. However, the Technology Review tracked down the coinage of this term a decade back. 

In late 1996, a small group of tech executives in the Houston office of Compaq Computers were busy planning the future of computing and the internet. They called it “cloud computing”. The vision was clear — all business software will move to the web, and “cloud computing enabled applications” will become common.

However, it was not before March 2020 that cloud computing entered the common parlance.

How it all Started: Origins of Cloud Computing

The 1960s 

It was the era of huge and expensive mainframe computers. These machines were a reality only for corporations and big organisations. These were multi-user computers operated by humans via terminals. The mainframe clients had nearly no computing power. They offered interfaces for the mainframe computer, located away from the operator but connected via a dedicated network. This model can rightly be seen as the ancestor of cloud computing.

The 1970s

ARPANET and its successors developed through the 70s into a computing system similar to modern-day cloud computing. The ARPANET contributed to join together organisations using mainframes and minicomputers, connected to users through terminals.

In the 70s, IBM developed the first virtual machines using the VM operating system for running the mainframe computers.

The 1990s

In 1989, English researcher Tim Berners-Lee at CERN invented the world wide web. A couple of years later, the first web browser WorldWideWeb was released. It came as a technology to interlink hypertext documents and other material. With more and more companies embracing the web, the infrastructure hosting industry came to flowering. Through the 1990s and early 2000s, the data centre industry flourished. In addition, shared hosting and dedicated platforms started gaining popularity.


The 1990s also witnessed the birth of SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. One big step towards SaaS technology was Salesforce.

The 2000s

The first IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) platforms came into existence in 2006. The availability of on-demand storage and computing space brought in a paradigm shift in the IT know-how of organisations. AWS was one of the prime movers in this widespread adoption of virtualisation and cloud.

Different cloud services take different demands of enterprises in their stride:

  • Public cloud: Use virtualisation and modern networking technology to provide on-demand storage and computing services
  • Private Cloud: On-demand storage and computing with more security; the organisation owns and controls the cloud servers
  • Hybrid Cloud: Integrate the best of public and private cloud
  • Multi-cloud: Outsourcing infrastructure requirements to more than one cloud service provider for optimisation

Cloud Computing: The Present and the Future

Since the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic, there has been an upward ascent of revenues in the cloud computing market. In 2020, the global cloud computing industry was worth 371.4 billion USD. Moreover, it is estimated that the trends are not going to be any different in the coming years. By 2025 the figures are estimated to rise to a whopping 832.1 billion USD. 


The figures indicate widespread cloud migration in every sector in 2020, and the future looks no different. Enthusiastic as we are about cloud adoption, we should not lose sight of certain common challenges.

  • Have a proper cloud migration strategy in place before switching to the cloud platform. Your cloud strategy should be a logical outcome of your business objectives, infrastructure needs and plans for the future.
  • Dig deep into the security and compliance issues. Your service providers must have DevOps operations, including setting security parameters, security automation, and continuous monitoring.
  • Make sure you do not go over the top in your upfront expenses. Check and compare different cloud solution providers and make an informed decision.
  • Lack of training of the workforce can lead to the failure of your migration strategy. Upgrade your current workforce or hire skilled professionals to keep afloat.



365Solutions is one of the leading managed cloud solutions providers in the UK and Europe. We take care of all your infrastructure requirements and offer step by step assistance in smooth migration to the cloud platform. Visit our website to look into all our services and products and the pricing details. Reach us at +44 20 3880 1220 or for further information.


Also Read

Five Reasons Why Switching to Cloud Computing is Necessary in the 5-G World

7 questions to ask when selecting a cloud solution provider

7 challenges your business can encounter while moving to cloud



Contact Us

Fill in this short request form to find out more about pricing, products or anything else about our business applications, and our Representative will contact you to help answer your questions.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest