Have you ever heard about people talking about this cloud thing and wondered, “what is this cloud thing?”
On this post, we’re going to talk about “What cloud computing is”
Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services — from applications to storage and processing power — typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Rather than owning their own computing infrastructure or data centers, companies can rent access to anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider.
One benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it.
In turn, providers of cloud computing services can benefit from significant economies of scale by delivering the same services to a wide range of customers.
What are examples of cloud computing?
Cloud computing underpins a vast number of services. That includes consumer services like Gmail or the cloud back-up of the photos on your smartphone, though to the services which allow large enterprises to host all their data and run all of their applications in the cloud. Netflix relies on cloud computing services to run its its video streaming service and its other business systems too, and have a number of other organisations.
Cloud computing is becoming the default option for many apps: software vendors are increasingly offering their applications as services over the internet rather than standalone products as they try to switch to a subscription model. However, there is a potential downside to cloud computing, in that it can also introduce new costs and new risks for companies using it.
Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players
Cloud computing in 2020 is more mature, going multi-cloud, and likely to become more focused on vertical and a sales ground war as the leading vendors battle for market share.
Picking the top cloud services provider isn’t easy given that the answer — much like enterprise software and IT in general — boils down to “it depends.” Whether it’s Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud platform in infrastructure as a service, or IBM, Dell Technologies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and VMware in multi-cloud hybrid deployments, there are multiple variables for each enterprise. Ditto for software as a service, where the likes of Salesforce, Adobe, and Workday battle SAP and Oracle, an infrastructure- and database-as-a-service player.