The idea of computing utility dates back to 1960s. Promoters of the cloud computing declare that this is the future of computing. Int'l Data Corporation, a trusted source of IT trends, has predicted that business IT spending on cloud services will increase from $16b last year to $42b by 2012. As the worldwide IT industry embraces this paradigm shift in computing, a compelling question arises i.e. how will it affect the Pakistani Enterprise? Cloud computing in its minimum form of web applications has long been making inroads into the Pakistani consumer computing habits. Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, Orkut, Naseeb, Webex, Skype, Yahoo, YouTube, Vimeo and MSN are all examples of computing applications that harness remote computing power - or in the cloud computing language these applications reside and operate in the cloud. As of December 09, Pakistan had close to 1.4m Facebook users and 1.7m Yahoo users. Web applications have also been making deep penetrations into the business operations of the Pakistani Enterprise. For example, Rozee.pk recruiting web-service, with more than 25,000 registered employers and 1.4m prospective employees, has fundamentally changed the recruiting function of a Pakistani Enterprise. Services such as Google maps, bastee.com, lahorereale-state.com and pakwheels.com have been gradually defining new rules for the Pakistani Automotive and Real Estate industry. The largest Pakistani distant learning institute, Virtual University uses YouTube as a platform to deliver classroom lectures, while its students use Gmail and Google Talk to communicate with peers. Cloud computing in its classic form enables flexible on-demand provisioning of computing resources as per the IT needs of any enterprise. These computing resources include raw computing power, computing applications and IT services. The fundamental drivers for the adoption of cloud services are its economic benefits and the ease of management. Users avoid IT capital expenditure and subscribe to the computing resources just like they subscribe to broadband services. The quality of service of these computing resources is guaranteed by the contractual service level agreements between the consumers and the service providers. While information technology takes its rightful place as the nervous system of a successful Pakistani Enterprise, the CIO needs to consider the economic and operational benefits of cloud services alternative whilst making new IT investments. By avoiding large capex and using cloud services, CIOs can use limited IT budgets for various important IT initiatives when faced with limited IT funds. The following concrete example will make the point more clear. Email has become central to the Pakistani Enterprise workflow. When an enterprise adopts hosted email, they avoid the cost of procuring email servers, hiring trained IT staff, arranging for standby power (generators/ups), providing air conditioning for the equipment and arranging for network and physical security. Some of these benefits are more relevant to the Pakistani Enterprise as power outages are frequent and leakage of capital assets is common. Most importantly, cloud based email services can be procured as per the requirements of the enterprise. For example, the number of mailboxes in a hosted email solution and the storage for each mailbox can be bought from the service provider according to enterprise needs. Such precise procurement of IT resources based on the enterprise needs underlines the importance of cloud computing service within limited IT funds. In the present unstable times, Cloud services provide an ideal alternative for providing disaster recovery and business continuity to a resilient Pakistani Enterprise. With cloud services, hot backup of the primary business critical applications can be readily made available instantaneously in case of a disaster. With technologies such as virtua-lization and synchronous replication, important information assets of an enterprise can be made secure. Pakistani enterprises can lower their risk profile without incurring large capital expenditures by using disaster recovery cloud services. Cloud services enable innovation for Pakistans technology sector. While still in its infancy, Pak software start-ups develop rich set of applications, such as database, iPhone games and web services. They can wisely control the burn rate of their limited financial funds by avoiding capex and using cloud computing resources. Today , we at Wateen Tel are fully committed to the success of the Pak Enterprise and are contributing to the computing revolution locally by offering public and private computing clouds in Pak . (The writer is Head of Products, Enterprise Solutions, Wateen Telecom)