Cloud computing provides on-demand access, via the internet, to computing resources — servers, applications (physical and virtual) as well as data storage and development tools hosted at a remote data center, which is managed by a cloud services provider. The service provider charges for the services on a subscription basis or based on usage.

The benefits include increased efficiency of business, less IT costs, and improved flexibility of data and workload. Data stored in the cloud can be accessed from any device or location and allows for greater flexibility and collaboration with colleagues as well as customers. Cloud services also help improve business continuity and disaster recovery by enabling quicker processing storage, retrieval, and retrieval of data in the event of interruption.

Many business applications are now delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS providers provide hardware software infrastructure, development, and other tools at a monthly cost. A key benefit of this model is the automatic upgrades and updates, which lessen the workload on internal IT staff.

Other types of cloud services are available, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). IaaS lets organizations rent physical infrastructure — such as servers and virtual machines (VMs), connectivity capabilities, and data storage – to manage their own applications. PaaS provides developers with on-demand platforms that include the hardware software stacks, software stacks and applications hosting and management tools needed to develop and test applications. Many major vendors provide serverless Computing, which is a subset of PaaS which lets developers run code without having to create or manage servers.