"It is not an area that has had enough attention paid to it in the UK," said Bloor analyst Tony Lock. "Practical applications for businesses are very real now," he said.
Grid computing is about making the best use of all available resources and can allow IT directors on tight budgets to sweat their assets, said Lock. They should be identifying areas of their IT infrastructure that grid computing could help, he said.
The model can deliver significant savings and improve efficiency levels. For example, Lock said it is not unusual for companies to use only 20%-30% of their storage capacity.
IT experts have mooted grid computing as the next big thing in business technology. Until recently business applications in this field have been rare but the situation is slowly changing. Last month Abbey National Treasury Services said it has used grid computing to calculate complex risk assessments.
Lock said the biggest wins will occur when grid computing is synchronised with the take-up of Web services.
"They can happen independently but the bigger benefits will happen when they are put together," he said.
"It will give IT even more potential to be more flexible in support of the business, which is what business is demanding. However, that is not going to happen overnight," he added.
Grid computing pays dividends
Bloor suggests commercial uses for grid computing:
- Server/storage consolidation and aggregation
- Maximising CPU power at departmental and enterprise level
- Distributed resource and workload management
- Batch processing
- Cutting time-to-market for products
- Collaborative/peer-to-peer computing
- Database decision support/data mining.