Cloud computing is one of those relatively new buzzwords that has got everyone talking; In essence cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service, rather than a physical product, where software and information is provided to a computer or other device, as a utility, over a network (most commonly the internet).
Cloud computing is defined by three key characteristics:
- It is sold on demand, by the hour to the month. Often known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) dependent on the product being delivered.
- It is flexible and users can often use as much are a little as they like at any given time.
- It is fully managed, which means all a user requires is a computer and access to the internet.
Cloud computing has taken off because of these 3 benefits and has been accelerated by a weakening economy and the need to have more financial flexibility with products and services.
The beauty of ‘the cloud’ is that it can be public, used by and provided to everyone or setup privately or to provide services privately. When a company uses the public cloud to setup a private network it is called the Virtual Private Cloud.
The real benefit of the public cloud to customers is scalability. It allows users to consume and pay for as much as is needed, but similarly as soon as they require more this can be added (in most cases) instantaneously and without delays or interruption to the business.
So if asked to define the key and core benefits of cloud computing what would they be?
Due to the ability to pay for services and products incrementally in the cloud, organisations do not spend unnecessarily.
Though the cost of physical storage has come down, real estate and the maintenance of it hasn’t. For organisations this means storage can be increased and decreased instantly.
You no longer need to worry whether your software, platforms and services are up-to-date or on the latest versions, nor do you need to worry about backups as this is now completely automated.
Unlike traditional IT networks everything is now available online. This means all you require is a portable device and internet connection and you’re working, no matter where you are.
Organisations can now avoid resource intensive activities traditionally involved with IT services and focus on what they do best.
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