What Is Cloud Computing? With EXAMPLE

We often hear talking about digital transformation technologies like cloud computing and their amazing benefits, including how those can help our path towards sustainable development. However, what is cloud computing? Let’s explain it with an example!

Cloud computing is the use of hardware and software to provide services over the Internet. These services can include storage, networking, computing power, and software applications. For example, you can use cloud computing to store files online, access software applications remotely, or keep your computer backed up in the event of a hardware failure.

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Cloud Computing Definition

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. storage, networks, servers, applications, services).

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defined cloud computing as “a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

In simpler words, rather than managing files and services on a local device, you’ll be doing the same over the internet in a cost-efficient manner. This makes IT resources and applications available to users on demand, without having to build and maintain the infrastructure to support them.

How does Cloud Computing Work?

Cloud computing is a type of computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow online access to computing services and storage of large amounts of data.

What is an example of cloud computing?

Suppose you have some important documents that you can’t lose at any cost. So you upload these documents to your favorite document storage websites like Google Drive, or OneDrive through your computer, you didn’t realize but now you have started cloud computing.

So all your documents are then stored in the cloud. Now you can access them from anywhere you want: be it at your home, office, or phone, you can easily access them.

Your important documents are stored in a huge data center full of computers situated all over the world.

This technology allows enterprises to scale their IT resources up or down as business needs change, without incurring the cost and complexity of managing their own physical infrastructure.

Cloud providers own and operate the infrastructure, including the physical servers, storage, and networking equipment, and make it available to customers on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Customers can access the cloud computing resources they need, such as a virtual server or storage volume via the Internet, and only pay for the resources they use.

The Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can use two types of models, the deployment model, and the service model.

Cloud computing deployment models

There are three types of cloud computing deployment models:

  • Public clouds are owned by cloud service providers and the cloud infrastructure is available to the public over the internet. The most popular public cloud platforms are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • Private clouds are exclusively available to a single organization and can be managed by the organization itself or a third party. This is usually done over a private network or through a virtual private network (VPN).
  • Hybrid clouds are a combination of the functionalities of both public and private clouds. This allows organizations to have the best of both worlds, and to choose which type of cloud computing is right for them.

Cloud computing service models

There are three major types of cloud computing service models available:

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): this is a cloud service model where users get access to basic computing infrastructure. They are generally used by administrators of the IT infrastructure. If your business requires resources like storage or virtual machines, then IaaS is the right model for you!
  • Platform as a service (PaaS): it provides cloud platforms and runtime environments for developing, testing, and managing applications. This service model enables users to deploy applications without the need to acquire, manage, and maintain the related computing hardware architecture. If your organization is in need of a platform for creating software applications, PaaS is the model for you.
  • Software as a service (SaaS): it involves cloud services for hosting and managing your software applications. Software and hardware requirements are satisfied by the vendors, so you don’t have to manage any of those aspects of the solution. If you’d rather not worry about the hassle of owning any IT equipment, the SaaS model would be the one to go with.

Real-World Examples of Cloud Computing

Here are 3 real-world practical examples of cloud computing:

  1. Storing data on a remote server: when you store data on a remote server, you can access it from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This is a great way to keep important files backed up and accessible from anywhere.
  2. Running a website: websites are often run on cloud-based servers, which can be scaled up or down as needed. In case you are wondering about it, yes, this website is also running on the cloud! This allows website owners to pay only for the resources they use, and not have to worry about maintaining their own server hardware.
  3. Using a cloud-based application: there are many applications that are designed to run on a cloud-based infrastructure. This can provide a more scalable and cost-effective solution than running the application on your own server. A popular example of applications running on the cloud is Office 365: thanks to this you can access all of your documents and popular Microsoft Office applications on the go because those apps are running on the Microsoft cloud.

The Top 10 Cloud Computing Providers

Here are the top 10 cloud computing providers in the world:

  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS): is a cloud computing platform that offers scalable, elastic and affordable computing resources. It provides a wide range of services, including storage, computing, networking, and databases. AWS is a pay-as-you-go service, so you only pay for the resources you use. AWS is the most popular cloud provider and it offers access to a lot of advanced functionalities, including machine learning and blockchain applications.
  2. Microsoft Azure: is a cloud platform that provides a variety of services, including those for computing, storage, networking, and analytics. Azure also offers tools for management and security, as well as a rich ecosystem of partners and third-party services.
  3. Google Cloud Platform: a set of tools and services that allow developers to create, manage, and deploy applications on Google’s infrastructure. The platform includes a variety of services, such as computing, storage, and networking, that can be used to build and run applications.
  4. IBM Cloud: a cloud computing platform from IBM. It offers a range of cloud services, including computing, storage, networking, and analytics. IBM Cloud is based on open standards and offers a flexible, scalable, and secure way to run your applications in the cloud. IBM Cloud is also offering advanced artificial intelligence services based on IBM Watson.
  5. Oracle Cloud: a cloud computing service offered by Oracle Corporation. It provides a suite of cloud services, including compute, storage, networking, database, and analytics. The offer of Oracle Cloud is more basic compared to the previous options and is available in a variety of subscription plans, each with its own set of features and pricing.
  6. Alibaba Cloud: a cloud computing service provider that offers a suite of cloud products, including data storage, databases, and analytics. Alibaba Cloud is part of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest names in the e-commerce sector.
  7. Salesforce Cloud: a cloud-based CRM software that helps businesses manage their customer relationships. It offers features such as sales automation, contact management, lead management, and opportunity management.
  8. Rackspace: a cloud computing platform that provides on-demand, pay-as-you-go virtual servers, storage, and networking. It is designed to be easy to use and scalable, so that you can start small and grow as your needs change.
  9. Fujitsu Cloud: a cloud computing service that offers users the ability to rent virtual machines and storage from Fujitsu. The service offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, and users can select from a variety of instance types and sizes. Fujitsu Cloud also offers a managed service option, which includes 24/7 support.
  10. Joyent Cloud: a cloud computing platform that provides on-demand, high-performance computing resources. It offers a variety of services, including storage, networking, and a wide range of applications. Joyent Cloud can be a great choice for businesses that need flexibility and scalability in their computing resources.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing

The most important benefits of cloud computing include:

  1. Cost Savings: Perhaps the biggest benefit of cloud computing is the fact that it can save organizations a lot of money by reducing operational costs and CAPEX. With cloud computing, organizations can pay for only the resources they need, when they need them. There is no need to invest in expensive hardware and software upfront. This is true only if your business doesn’t need the same computing resources all the time: if your computing utilization rate is above 70% 24/7, is more convenient to purchase and maintain your own computing resources.
  2. Increased productivity: Cloud computing can also lead to increased productivity for organizations. With cloud-based applications, employees can access the tools and information they need from anywhere, at any time. This can lead to a more efficient and effective workforce.
  3. Scalability: Cloud computing is also very scalable. With traditional on-premises infrastructure, organizations often have to invest in more resources than they need to accommodate for future growth. With the cloud, they can easily scale up or down their usage as needed.
  4. Flexibility: Cloud computing is also very flexible, which is another big benefit. That’s because businesses can access their data and applications from anywhere in the world, and they can scale their resources up or down as needed. This flexibility can help businesses save a lot of time and money.
  5. Disaster Recovery: Cloud computing can also provide organizations with improved disaster recovery capabilities. With cloud-based backups, organizations can be sure that their data is safe and secure, even in the event of a major disaster.
  6. Security: Despite concerns about security, the cloud is actually more secure than most on-premises solutions. That’s because cloud providers have an entire team dedicated to security, whereas most businesses only have a few people responsible for security. In addition, cloud providers have access to the latest security tools and technologies, which they can use to protect their customers’ data.
  7. No need for an in-house data center: with cloud computing you can have access to the best computing resources when you need them and without having an in-house data center and high-performance computing (HPC) experts.
  8. Green IT solutions can be more easily implemented by the cloud provider compared to on-premises computing.
  9. Reduced waste and improved sustainability. Cloud computing can avoid a lot of waste, because businesses will not be purchasing computing hardware that they are not going to use 100%. In addition, the cloud lowers the barier of entry for advanced computing capabilities, allowing small businesses to also benefit from industry 4.0 and digital transformation, improving the efficiency of the organization. Finally, this tech, forms the perfect combination with edge computing, which can reduce the data that needs to be transfered over the network and further improving sustainability.

These are just a few of the many benefits of cloud computing. If you need computing resources and you’re not already using the cloud, it’s definitely something to consider.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing for Consumers

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way people use the internet. It has made it possible for people to access their files and applications from any device with an internet connection.

One of the biggest benefits of cloud computing is that it is very convenient. Consumers can access their files and applications from any device with an internet connection. This means that they can work from anywhere, at any time.

Another benefit of cloud computing is that it is very cost-effective. Consumers only need to pay for the storage they use. They do not need to pay for expensive hardware or software.

Cloud computing is also very secure. Consumers’ data is stored in secure data centers. The cloud data centers have state-of-the-art security teams and systems in place.

Finally, cloud computing is very scalable. Consumers can easily add or remove storage as their needs change.

The Drawbacks of Cloud Computing

There are a few potential drawbacks of cloud computing that businesses should be aware of before making the switch.

  • Potential data breaches: One of the biggest potential problems is security. When your data is stored off-site, it can be more vulnerable to hackers. There have been several high-profile data breaches in recent years that have involved cloud-based services.
  • Downtime. If your cloud-based service or internet connection goes offline for any reason, you will not be able to access your data or applications. This can be a major problem if you rely on the cloud for critical business functions.
  • Cloud computing can be expensive. Cloud-based services can be more expensive than traditional on-premises solutions. This is because you typically pay for cloud services on a monthly or annual basis, and prices can vary depending on the features and storage you need. Also, undertanding your hardware utilization rate is critical: if you plan to use the same computing resources for more than 70% of the time 24/7 for more than a year, on-premises solutions may be cheaper than the cloud, especially if you already have a data center.

Despite these potential drawbacks, cloud computing can be a very cost-effective and convenient way to store and access data and applications. If you are considering making the switch to the cloud, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable provider.

The History of Cloud Computing

The history of cloud computing can be traced back to the early days of the Internet, when companies began to offer web-based services that allowed users to access their applications and data from any location.

In the early 2000s, companies such as Salesforce and Google began to offer cloud-based services, which allowed businesses to run their applications and store their data on the companies’ servers.

Since then, the use of cloud computing has grown rapidly, with businesses of all sizes using cloud-based services to run their operations.

The Future of Cloud Computing

The future of cloud computing looks bright, with continued growth and adoption across all industries. Businesses of all sizes are turning to the cloud to improve their operations, cut costs, and improve sustainability.

As the demand for cloud services grows, so does the need for qualified cloud professionals. There will be a need for more cloud architects, engineers, and administrators to design, build, and manage cloud environments.


In conclusion, cloud computing is a great advancement of technology enabling digital transformation and industry 4.0. This is a fundamental step to improving the efficiency of businesses around the world. As a consequence, the company will also reduce waste (avoiding purchasing computing hardware that will not be fully used) and be more sustainable.

A great example of cloud computing is Google Docs. With Google Docs, users can create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online while collaborating with other users in real-time.

As you can see, nowadays everybody is already using cloud computing without even realizing it!