Digital Themes

Cloud Services

What are cloud services? 

Cloud services, also known as cloud computing, are platforms, software, or infrastructure managed by third-party service providers and available to users on the internet. Using web access, cloud services allow user information to be funneled from the end user’s location (e.g., laptops, desktop computers, servers, and other endpoint devices) to the service provider’s systems and back. 

Users can access or purchase cloud services with a computer, an active operating system, and internet access. Cloud services are available on-demand and offer buy-as-you-go pricing options, giving users the flexibility to purchase services only when they need them. 

From data backup and disaster recovery to email and enterprise collaboration platforms, cloud services are designed to provide user-friendly and affordable access that benefits users across the board. Cloud computing vendors host these services directly from their servers, so companies do not have to manage the applications on-premises. 

There are three main forms of cloud services: 

Software as a Service (SaaS) consists of a variety of services, including web-based email, project management and collaboration platforms, document sharing services, and file storage and backup. Examples of SaaS vendors: Microsoft Office 365, Slack, Dropbox, and Google Workspace. 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides cloud-based infrastructure support for cloud vendors who want an external resource to help manage and maintain their SaaS tools. IaaS platforms act as a full-service datacenter for the SaaS tools they host, removing the need for on-premises installations. Examples of IaaS vendors: Microsoft Azure (Cloud), Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean Droplets, and Google Compute Engine. 

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud-based territory where developers can build and deploy cloud applications. PaaS environments contain fully equipped databases and are managed by PaaS service providers, allowing consumers to focus on developing and managing their own software and applications. Many IaaS vendors, such as Amazon Web services, Salesforce, and Microsoft Azure, also include PaaS functionalities. 

Cloud services offer various business benefits, including:

  • Immediate implementation and real-time usage. 
  • Instant and wide-range scalability – companies can deploy cloud services across multiple locations in just minutes. 
  • On-demand service options allowing companies to pay for service only when they need it, avoiding the risk of buying “too much” and wasting money on unused resources. 
  • Freedom to experiment and test new services customized to fit your organizational and structural needs. 
  • Improving overall operational efficiency and engagement with faster innovation and global implementation capabilities. 


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