Information technology is changing rapidly, and now cuts across every endeavor of society and is being used in power control systems, traffic control, food and nutrition, healthcare delivery, water supply, insurance and the financial transactions. An emerging technology delivery model that has been proven to reduce costs and at the same time improving optimized and efficient service delivery is Cloud Computing. It can be used in large organizations as well as small ones and gives quality user experience. Cloud computing means delivering services over the internet.

The services delivered through cloud computing can be divided into three classes namely: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service and Software as a service (SaaS).

Software as a Service

This is a means of deploying software packages over the internet. A customer is given the licenses to an application to use as a service on demand. SaaS can be provided through a pay on demand or on time sub script ion basis, and can be hosted on the customer's device or hosted by the provider's web server. On-demand licensing enables the benefits of the use of licensed software without the associated problems and high costs of loading every device with the applications that are only used when needed. Software vendors may upload the software to the customer's device and disable it after use or after the sub script ion period is over. SaaS is used by businesses for computerization tasks such as human resource management, billing, sales pipeline management, invoicing, service desk management and so on.

Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service is a provision model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support its operations including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. The equipment are owned and maintained by the the service provider, the client only pays for the use of the facilities. The client can however select the infrastructure they want for their part of the cloud computing and the configure it and load it with the applications they want. Businesses can use IaaS for that matter cloud computing to rapidly build new application versions without having to procure new hardware.

Platform as a service

This is an aspect of cloud computing that allows delivery of operating systems and associated services over the Internet without downloads or installation. With PaaS, operating system features can be changed and upgraded often. It allows development teams at different locations to work together on software development projects. Overall expenses can also be minimized by unification of programming development efforts.

A cloud computing service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour; it is elastic because a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access). Significant innovations in virtualization and distributed computing, as well as improved access to high-speed Internet and a weak economy, have accelerated interest in cloud computing.

Cloud computing is the new direction to go. Try it for your business or organization and enjoy the many benefits it offers.

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