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What is Cloud Computing? (Here is what you need to essentially know about the Cloud)

What is Cloud Computing? (Here is what you need to essentially know about the Cloud)

In simple words, cloud computing is the online availability of on-demand computer services that include applications, storage as well as processing power. Of late, even standard office applications, natural language processing and artificial intelligence have been covered under the expanding range of cloud computing services. So, if you don’t own any complex IT infrastructure or application, there is no need to fret. All you need to do is look up to the infinite services of cloud computing.

Infinite Possibilities of Cloud Computing Services

Cloud computing supports a large number of services. This includes consumer services such as cloud backup of photos on Gmail and smartphones, as well as services that allow large enterprises to store all their data and run all their applications in the cloud. Netflix also relies on cloud computing services to run video streaming services and other business systems. In short, you can now render virtually any service over the cloud that does not need to be physically close to your computer's hardware. 

Cloud computing is becoming the default choice for many applications. Software vendors are increasingly offering their applications as services over the Internet rather than as stand-alone products as they switch to the subscription model. 

Main Cloud Computing Models: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS

The most popular cloud computing models are as follows:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) refers to the basic components of computer leasing, that is, physical or virtual servers, storage and networks. It is appealing to companies that wish to build applications from scratch and control almost everything themselves, but it requires technical skills to coordinate services at that level. Around two-thirds of IaaS users use online infrastructure to drive innovation, reduce time to deploy new applications and services as well as significantly reduce ongoing maintenance costs. However, many feel that IaaS is not secure enough for the most important data.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) includes underlying storage, networks and virtual servers as well as the tools and software developers required to build applications. This allows companies to manage their middleware: Database, operating system, development tools. Many of Microsoft's business and enterprise costs, licensed as monthly or annual subscriptions, are home and personal, using collaborative applications and management tools designed to address corporate security and compliance challenges. 


Software as a Service (SaaS) is application delivery as a service, probably the version of cloud computing that most people are accustomed to on a daily basis. The underlying hardware and operating systems are independent of the end-user who use the service through a web browser or application. According to researchers, IDC SaaS was and will continue to be the leading cloud computing model in the medium term, accounting for two-thirds of all public cloud spending in 2017. Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource management (ERM) will account for more than 60% of total cloud application spending by 2021. 

Benefits of Cloud Computing

  • The exact benefits depend on the type of cloud service you use. Basically, cloud services eliminate the need for enterprises to purchase or maintain their own IT infrastructure.

  • Everything is under the control of your provider, so you don't have to buy a server, update your applications or operating system, or disassemble and remove your hardware or software as it ages. For basic applications such as email, it may make more sense to switch to a cloud provider rather than relying on internal skills. 

  • Cloud computing services are safe and efficient for users, as companies that specialize in managing and security of these services are likely to have better skills and experienced staff than small businesses. 

  • Cloud computing services allow companies to pay only for the resources they consume, allowing them to move their project and testing concepts faster without the need for long acquisitions or high upfront costs. Cloud advocates often cite this concept of business insight as an important advantage. Being able to get new services up and running without the time and effort associated with traditional IT acquisition means that it's easier to get new applications up and running faster. And if a new application turns out to be very popular, the resilience of the cloud makes it easy to scale quickly.

However, cloud computers are not always cheaper than other types of computers. Just as rentals are not always cheaper than long-term purchases. If your application has regular and predictable requirements for IT services, it may be more economical to provide those services in-house.

Moreover, some companies may be reluctant to provide sensitive data about services that their competitors also use. Migrating to SaaS applications can also mean using the same applications as your competitors, which can make it difficult to create a competitive advantage.

Just how important is cloud computing?

According to an IDC survey, the building infrastructure to support cloud computing now accounts for more than one-third of total IT spending worldwide. On the other hand, traditional internal IT spending, whether it's a vendor-provided public cloud service or a private cloud built by the enterprise itself, continues to decline as computer load continues to move to the cloud.

There is a rising reliance on cloud-based infrastructure, security services, applications and management. If estimates are to be believed, around one-third of this year's enterprise IT spending will be on hosting and cloud services. However, the amount of demand from companies that really want to move to the cloud and the amount of demand from sellers who currently offer only cloud versions of their products is not entirely clear.

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