Being able to work or do something “in the cloud” has been a phrase that’s been tossed around a lot, but what exactly is cloud computing? Many people seem to have different definitions of it, but the main idea seems to be the existence of virtual servers available over the Internet that extends IT’s existing capabilities in real time. Another definition coud be “a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure.” There are many different types of public cloud computing, but one of the most popular ones these days is software as a service, or “SaaS.”
SaaS is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software.” It is a model of cloud computing in which software and data are hosted on the cloud. The main benefits of SaaS is the ability to lessen IT support costs by outsourcing maintenance and support to the actual SaaS provider. Some notable services of SaaS include Amazon Web Services, Google Apps, iCloud, Oracle, and Windows Azure.
SaaS also has the benefit that it is able to be updated much more frequently than traditional software. Since it is on the cloud, updates can be released through patches without the clients having to install any new software. The vendor of the updates also has access to all of the user behavior, so it is simple to identify any areas that need improvement. As the infographic states, cloud computing provides more efficient access to data with improved reliability and security.