Cloud computing is the term used to describe on-demand access, via the internet or other network, to IT resources, including servers, applications (physical and virtual) tools for development, networking capabilities, data storage and much more. They are hosted at remote data centers, that is managed by a cloud service provider. Users are able to connect to this infrastructure using an encrypted connection. Cloud services are provided on an ongoing basis or are charged according to use.

Cloud-based systems enable companies to reduce costs and spend less time on maintaining IT infrastructure. They also free up IT personnel so they can focus on more valuable tasks. The savings a business will see will depend on the system they decide to migrate to the cloud, as well as what the cloud systems are replacing. A recent study found that IT and business professionals reported savings between 30 to 50% by moving to cloud.

There are several cloud service models, such as Software as a Service(SaaS), Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. SaaS is the most well-known model and probably the one that most companies are already using. It provides the application layer — software such as CRM, email and office software–via the internet, thus eliminating the need to maintain or upgrade hardware.

Another advantage is the ease at which businesses can increase or decrease the size of their servers and disk space, and only pay for what they need when they use it. This rapid elasticity can be crucial for agile processes and for quickly bringing new technologies into production. Cloud providers can also keep IT departments updated on the latest technological advances without having to worry about expensive hardware.

By Marija

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