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What is the Cloud? Where is the Cloud? Why is it called the Cloud? It may sound mysterious but the Cloud is part of our everyday online experience. 

Take Facebook as an example. It’s a Cloud app and so is your banking app.Also, the fact that 83% of companies use Cloud computing indicates that there must be something to it. In this blog, we discuss Cloud computing, its various purposes as well as Cloud-based services and its benefits.

Cloud computing and its uses

Cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data and programs in the Cloud instead of on your computer’s hard drive or company’s local servers.This new era of Cloud computing allows companies to securely create new apps and services, store and manage data, host websites and blogs, stream audio and video, deliver software on demand and even make use of big data.

The benefits of Cloud computing

While moving from traditional IT services to the Cloud is a big shift, there are many advantages of moving to the Cloud. What is it that makes Cloud computing so beneficial and special?

  • Cost:

    Cloud computing eliminates the need for a company to invest in expensive hardware and software and maintain on-site data centres;

  • Speed:

    Programs and services in the Cloud can be accessed through self-service and on demand. This means you can access valuable data with just a few mouse clicks;

  • Elasticity:

    You are able to adjust your IT resources such as your software, computing speed, storage space, bandwidth, and other elements when the need arises, regardless of geographic location;

  • Increased productivity:

    Cloud computing has eliminated the need for time-consuming management typically required by on-site data centres, so you do not need a designated IT department

  • Performance:

    Cloud computing runs on a network of servers that are locally placed in secure data centres. These are regularly updated with the latest hardware and software by your service provider. This means you receive high-end computing performance without having to maintain the infrastructure; and

  • Reliability:

    Your data is stored in local data centres that are equipped with onsite security and state of the art infrastructure to combat natural disasters like flooding and fire. They are also powered by additional generators, ensuring your server never loses power.

Types of Cloud-based services

Cloud-based services comprise three broad categories that form what is called the Cloud computing stack. These are infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Knowing the differences between them will help you to choose the tools to ensure that your business succeeds.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS, gives your team the needed server space, IP addresses and network without having to invest in the infrastructure. The resources are available virtually or in the Cloud and you only pay for what you use, if you have a flexible supplier. IaaS allows small businesses to create and use the infrastructure they need without the cost of IT support or investment in the network or servers.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS provides you with an on-demand environment that supports the lifecycle of developing, testing, managing and delivering Cloud-based software applications. This makes it easier to quickly create mobile or web apps without having to fund and manage the underlying hardware, software, provisioning and hosting.
Software as a Service (SaaS)

This is when a Cloud provider hosts and manages software applications such as Grammarly and Google and the underlying infrastructure. These software applications are then delivered via the Internet to businesses, on demand and on a subscription basis, and can be accessed from any device anywhere. The provider usually handles maintenance such as upgrades and security.

As you’ve seen, there’s value in centralising your computing services on the Cloud. Cloud computing is the answer for businesses seeking cost-effective, secure and managed services.