3. Akamai Technologies
Cloud computing is a trend you want to own a part of-Cisco Systems (CSCO) projects that global cloud traffic will make up 64% of total data center traffic by 2016, up from 29% in 2011.
But how to buy in? Many of the biggest cloud-computing "companies" are actually units of larger companies rather than standalone businesses. I don't think buying Amazon.com (AMZN) to get its data center and cloud-computing business makes a whole lot of sense.
Akamai Technologies (AKAM) sells services that accelerate Internet traffic. Accelerators are especially important as cloud traffic grows, and as a growing percentage of traffic consists of complex video and multimedia that need to be streamed to users without glitches or lags. Akamai manages a network of more than 95,000 content delivery servers located within the "last mile" in 1,900 networks in 75 countries.
The stock is cheap for a technology company, at 23 times projected 2012 earnings per share, and Akamai is remarkably consistent for a technology company, with average annual revenue growth since 2007 of nearly 17%.