Cloud computing is rapidly emerging as the new information technology platform. It is, however, much more than simply a new set of technologies and business models. Cloud computing is transforming how consumers, companies, and governments store information, how they process that information, and how they utilize computing power. It can be an engine of innovation, a platform for entrepreneurship, and driver of corporate efficiency. While an increasingly commonly term, confusion remains over what exactly constitutes cloud computing, how the markets are unfolding, and what forces will drive their evolution and diffusion. This paper provides an overview and conceptual tools for business leaders, policymakers, and non-specialist scholars to identify, distill, and easily understand the core aspects of how cloud computing service markets are developing, and how an array of policy issues will influence how this new computing platform unfolds across the world.