Beyond the hype around cloud computing and its variants, there is growing acceptance of the notion that the buying criteria of end customers has moved from a discussion of how the technology chosen and provided to a discussion of what value the technology is providing. This provides the new frame of reference for customers and IT providers alike. We are finally getting to fully connect the business objectives and requirements with IT services delivery. Given IBM's announcement today of a new data center in Auckland and a Cloud Computing application research center in Hong Kong, there is growing evidence that organizations are increasingly more interested in moving much of their data center operations to off-premise providers. When we set aside details such as massively scalable processing, virtualization, service orientation and always-on access; we have nothing short of a major evolution of business itself. The key will be in pricing strategies of such services because smart IT shops can always reverse engineer your cost structure for standard cloud platform offerings as they consider the option of "private clouds" (a term I utterly detest). IBM references "private clouds" as those configurations where customers have dedicated computing and resources for their own business. They are compute and infrastructure technology stacks, nothing more magical than that. The provider profit margin and value will result from their ability to optimize everything behind the service boundary while hiding complexity from the end customer. That is something worth paying for!