Cloud computing is a rapidly expanding method of providing data storage and computing services to both individual users and businesses. There are many benefits for businesses who use cloud computing. It also allows businesses to quickly provide services in response to an increasing demand, and likewise to scale services down in less profitable or demanding periods. Cloud computing can and has helped businesses to reduce IT asset costs, particularly in terms of both software and hardware purchases.
Because of this, cloud computing is largely responsible for businesses trending away from maintaining large data centers and other complex infrastructure, as the cloud gives them access to all of the necessary hardware without the need for much in the way of on-site equipment beyond personal computers and an internet connection.
As a result, it can also be said that cloud computing has helped to increase the prevalence of businesses who outsource network management and other related responsibilities, as the move away from a complex internal technological infrastructure means businesses no longer require a large on-site staff. As a result of this, small and medium sized businesses are, at least in terms of computing resources, able to match larger businesses.
There are several components that make up cloud computing, the first of which is what is commonly called Software as a Service, which exists in the application that resides on the server of the vendor and is accessed by way of a desktop browser. This is attractive to both the vendor and the end-user because there is no need to install the software on every computer which uses the service and the vendor has only one application to maintain. This is different from other types of hosting where many applications and services are available from a single vendor.
Another related service is the Web services in the cloud which offers APIs, or small pieces of code, which make it possible for software developers to provide small applications over the Internet rather than more complex applications. Platform as a service is available for vendors who want to make comprehensive development environments available for developers to create their own applications, which can then be accessed on Internet browsers by end-users.
Applications such as electronic mail monitoring, scanning of viruses, desktop management, and overall application monitoring are equally important services. This type of technology streamlines the operations of IT departments because they no longer need to purchase individual monitoring tools for each of the desired services.
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