Cloud Computing is the latest technology that delivers services on clouds i.e. online. The different between the cloud solutions and the in-house solutions is that cloud works independently from computers or server configurations. It operates as a virtual computer where it stores and runs through the cloud. The concept of cloud has been around from a long time in many different ways. A lot of applications that people use nowadays are completely web-based. Some examples could be Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Gmail etc.
Traditional business applications have always been very complicated and expensive. The amount and time required to install hardware and various software applications to run them are very huge. Hence there used to be multiple efforts by IT experts who dedicated their work to install, configure, test, run and update with new functions. Small to medium size organizations wouldn't really think of installing such business applications.
Cloud Technology has delivered a number of benefits from cost reduction to efficient and flexibility. Consider a scenario where you are hosting your website on your local server, you would need to select the particular operating system for determining what software you can run on this server. In case your website is hosted on cloud, there is no need to do that. You can run any programs on any OS. Small to medium organizations are the ones who are reaping the benefits of using Cloud services. Since cloud computing applications comes on 'pay as you go' model, they can easily opt for cloud applications of their requirement and process.
Cloud Computing architecture includes front end and back end layers. The front end is the one that we see and use it. Example, the way we use or access Gmail or Facebook. That's how software is running from the front end. Back end consists of the hardware and the software architecture that fuels the interface what we see on the front end. The flexibility of being able to access the software and data wherever needed is what makes it a greatest advantage.
Further with the help of cloud computing, business applications have collaborated with mobility. The latest innovations in the technology industry is mobile access for applications. Popular consumer applications like Facebook and Twitter are being accessed in real time through Mobile.
There are three types or models of Cloud Computing:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service: Cloud service providers offer virtual machines, servers, storage, network etc. IaaS is a more of a facility given to business offering the storage space in servers, virtual networks and data centers.
Platform as a Service: Cloud service providers deliver a computing platform that includes operating system, database, development tools, web servers etc. Developers can make use of the platform without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the hardware and software layers.
Software as a Service: Cloud service providers offer application software in the cloud. The users do not manage the cloud infrastructure and platform where the applications are running. Maintenance, support and hosting is all done by the service provider thus helping in cost reduction and flexibility.
All the above cloud computing services are priced on the usage model and is typically billed monthly, quarterly, yearly etc.
Cloud Computing has also delivered its benefits to the CRM industry. Read more about Cloud Computing and CRM.