What is Cloud computing and why does it matter to business?

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Cloud computing refers to the provision of IT infrastructure, operating software, middleware and applications hosted within a datacentre and accessed by the end user via the Internet.

So what is Cloud computing in business and what are the main trends?

Cloud computing is typically sold using three service models:

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): a model for renting out IT hardware, such as servers, data centre space or networking components, to IT systems administrators or network architects, saving them the cost of buying and building their own in-house data centre.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS): a model for providing IT platforms to allow app developers to create, run and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.
  • Software as a service (SaaS): a model for licensing and delivering centrally hosted software via the Internet on a subscription basis to corporations and consumers.

Why does Cloud computing matter to business?

Cloud computing makes it easier, cheaper and faster to run state-of-the-art IT architectures in any type of company, large or small. The key benefits are:

  • Cost: Significant cost savings are likely across a company’s IT budget.
  • Cash flow: The billing is typically metered on usage, so IT expenditure shifts from one-off, upfront capital expenditure to monthly operating expenses, offering a cash flow advantage.
  • Flexibility: Businesses can rent IT equipment and applications as needed, rather than buying hardware and software assets outright.
  • Scalability: Computing capabilities like storage, processing power or network bandwidth can be scaled-up almost instantly and scaled-down again depending on demand and users are unlikely to ever be short of capacity.
  • Ubiquitous access: IT resources can be accessed by any authorised users on any authorised devices from any authorised location using an Internet connection.

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