Many people speak of cloud computing as if it’s been around for decades. In a way, it has. But today’s use of the phrase is more specific than simply a great big network in the sky. Understanding the cloud will determine whether it helps organizations realize the efficiencies and cost savings it promises or the opportunities that float on by.
In its simplest form, cloud computing enables organizations to purchase computing power and data storage services from third-party providers who offer these products via the Internet. Rather than investing in their own data centers or servers, businesses and agencies can pay as they go, which allows them to expand—or contract—as needed.
This business model offers several benefits; among the most attractive are lower upfront costs and increased agility. Organizations no longer have to predict how many servers they may need when their business grows. Yet, when an organization’s growth exceeds expectations, the server capacity it needs to succeed can be in place in minutes rather than weeks.