In the most general terms, cloud computing means that applications, files and documents reside in an offsite data centre, not on your computer’s hard drive, and you and your employees access them via the Internet.
There are three main forms of cloud computing:
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
Offsite storage or processing resources (like data storage, disaster recovery and servers) that you access via the Internet. You do not manage or control the infrastructure, but you do have control over your operating systems, applications, and programming frameworks.
2. Software as a Service (SaaS):
Applications or programs (like email and document creation) that are accessed via the web through various devices including computers and mobile phones. You do not manage or control the cloud infrastructure or application capabilities.
3. Platform as a Service (PaaS):
Lets you deploy applications that your company has developed onto the cloud infrastructure. Basically, businesses use virtualized servers and associated services for running existing applications or developing and testing new ones. You do not manage or control the underlying infrastructure, but have control over applications that are deployed. Choosing one of these options will depend on your specific needs and budget.