Chipmaker Intel is advising a group of more than 70 companies, including Deutsche Bank, Lockheed Martin and BMW, as they encourage industry standards for "cloud computing".
Cloud computing involves businesses cutting back on computer storage space and processing power by having their software and data in remote centres, accessed by their employees and customers over networks like the Internet.
Tech industry companies like Oracle and Amazon are pushing cloud computing, but industry standards have not been agreed.
Companies involved in the working group invest over US$50 billion a year collectively in IT and plan to lay out their requirements for future cloud computing data centers that are not specific to any one vendor's hardware or software.
They each have begun their own internal cloud projects.
"When you look at the changes happening in the world, the R&D that's going on, cloud is probably one of the areas that is changing faster than any other area of our industry," Curt Aubley, a technology vice president at defence contractor Lockheed Martin, told reporters at an event introducing the working group.
Microprocessors made by Intel go into nine out of 10 servers around the world, and the Santa Clara, California-based technology company expects the growth of cloud computing to fuel demand for more data centers over the next few years.
Absent from the working group announced on Wednesday were companies that have already become major forces in cloud computing, like Google and Amazon, which hosts cloud computing services for other companies.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich)