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Users Mull Utility Computing

Interest in utility computing is growing, and companies aim to spend on it, even though they seem to need a boost of real-world motivation to be specific about their plans.

In this month's Byte and Switch

poll, for instance, 68 percent of 65 respondents could identify utility computing as "the ability to provide users with storage, computer, and network resources as needed, without altering or reconfiguring hardware." But just 31 percent actually acknowledged having a strategy for utility computing in place.

Still, there's pain out there that utility computing is being sought to address. A survey commissioned by AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) of 254 senior executives worldwide, for instance, found that just 6 percent think their current data networks can handle everything they need to do.

Figure 1: How equipped is your network for the business challenges you face over the next two years?

Source: AT&T and Economist Intelligence Unit

The survey, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research group affiliated with The Economist magazine, revealed that even though utility computing ranked relatively low (14th out of 15 items) on companies' lists of current priorities, there was substantial interest in developing the technology over the next two years.

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