There's a good article up from Matt Asay on CNET titled "Cloud computing's secret sauce." The article suggests that the benefits of cloud computing go beyond simple cost reductions and one of the key benefits is simplicity.
"Woods points to two particular aspects of cloud computing that make it so powerful--scripts and model-driven configuration. He writes:
'What is coming is a new way of running IT made possible by two forms of data center automation: scripts and model-driven configuration. Using both of these techniques, the IT staff can now encapsulate the ability to upgrade and change systems in a series of automated steps that can be safely executed by the end users, those who are in charge of applications.'"
Cloud computing has the capability of simplifying complex, repetitive tasks and pushes them closer to the individuals who will be benefitting from those tasks. The article goes on to conclude that companies like Puppet Labs will really thrive with the advent of cloud computing. He states:
"It's one of the first times open source has taken the lead in simplifying IT, rather than feeding its complexity."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.