The cloud is the delivery of IT computing products and services over the internet to transform organisations. Bringing the most up-to-date emerging technologies and systems to users with worldwide access, the cloud is the most cost-effective, scalable and innovative option available. This eliminates the need for traditional or physical servers.
What does “the cloud” stand for?
The cloud stands for cloud computing. It is the delivery of computing infrastructure, platform and software through which the user pays based on usage, resulting in scaling opportunities such as intelligence, faster innovation and flexible resourcing.
How does the cloud work?
Data and applications are accessed over the internet in the cloud, not computer hard drives. Customers don’t have to buy their own hardware or software. Instead, they get to access it and only pay for what they use, which helps lower operating costs and ensure efficiency and scale as business needs change.
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What are some examples of the cloud?
The cloud comes in three service models: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
- To power up and virtualise your IT environment, IaaS gives you the most direction. By changing from on-premise infrastructure to cloud-based alternatives, businesses pay for the services that meet their needs without the cost of maintaining their physical servers. An example is a council leveraging an IaaS provider to manage its production systems and databases.
- To develop applications and innovate quickly, PaaS takes away the need to worry about platform management. PaaS is often built on top of an IaaS setup, reducing the need for system administration. An example is an insurer’s PaaS that allows them to operate with agility and with the peace of mind of in-built security mechanisms.
- To allow for quick productivity needs, SaaS is a ready-to-use, out-of-the-box solution. Most modern SaaS platforms are based in and built on IaaS or PaaS platforms. For example, SaaS services can be synchronised to assist with user access and collaboration – as with this sports association.
While seen as three distinct models, the best cloud services are progressive and phased. You might choose to start with one cloud service model or find a need for all three: ultimately, that depends on your business’s specific IT setup, locality, needs and goals.