Cloud computing is defined as “a technology that uses the Internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications.” In other words, it is the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service. That means businesses and consumers need not install any applications as they can use applications and access files and documents using a computer with internet access. Hence, thanks to its centralized storage, memory, processing, and bandwidth enterprises can now do more efficient computing than earlier times. Cloud computing is divided into three segments namely applications, platforms and infrastructure. These different segments serve different purposes and provide different products to businesses and enterprises.
The cloud computing services are growing at a faster rate as it offers a dynamic solution for enterprises and businesses to increase their IT capacity or functionality without having to increase personnel, software/applications, and infrastructure. According to Gartner, the fastest growing segment in IT outsourcing is cloud-computing services. It is expected to grow 48.7% to $ 5 billion in the current year, up from $ 3.4 billion last year. The research director at Gartner, Gregor Petri, is of the view that, “Today, cloud computing services primarily provide automation of basic functions. As next-generation business applications come to market and existing applications are migrated to use automated operations and monitoring, increased value in terms of service consistency, agility, and personnel reduction will be delivered.”
The greatest advantage of cloud computing is that it reduces wastage, increases effectiveness, maximizes utilization and facilitates easy access to resources, applications and platforms. Cloud computing is a convenient, on-demand model for network access, which significantly reduces costs, increases storage availability, enhances automation thereby eliminating worries about keeping applications up to date. Moreover, there is extensive flexibility and control of data. Besides, there is higher reliability and up time and increased mobility thereby allowing organizations to access information anytime, anywhere.
Cloud computing services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Of the different cloud computing providers only a very few can deliver the real power of the cloud at fingertips. Therefore, enterprises must partner with only those cloud-computing providers who have the expertise, robustness of cloud infrastructures, managed services support, and ability to offer the entire IT infrastructure in the cloud.