Nebulous terms such as ‘the cloud’ need specific definitions for business applications. Cloud computing is one of the latest buzz words that have joined the workplace. Used as a metaphor for the internet, cloud refers to services, storage and programs that are outside the infrastructure of a network. Cloud computing, then, refers to the ability to increase capacity or capabilities of a company without additional infrastructure, software purchases or personnel increases. Cloud computing can include: SaaS (software as a service), storage and virtual servers, web services, and PaaS (platform as a service). The availability of cloud computing is driving a new wave of business applications as affordable options for both small and large companies.

Cloud computing has become a part of the new landscape of technology offerings.  Eliminating the need to purchase additional equipment or software means that applications are available to a wider marketplace. Customers that would not have been able to take advantage of software offerings due to infrastructure deficiencies can now have access to more robust programming options. The growing market for virtual workspaces has blossomed due to the availability of cloud computing structures. Employees are able to work from anywhere – and still have full access to the files and programs that they need to be efficient.

The future of cloud computing is bright as more developers realize the potential for using networks to be productive. Companies with offices around the world can take advantage of cloud computing to have real-time access to inventory, storage files, data and more. Employers can provide staff with the tools they need, ensure that the software is always up-to-date and that the company network is always current without needing to update individual workstations. Still in its infancy, cloud computing is a fast growing trend that will change the way business is done around the world.