Cloud computing services provide the ability to store information and workloads in remote repositories accessible via the Internet instead of being stored on the company’s onsite servers and hardware. Third-party providers provide these services for a monthly cost, eliminating the requirement to purchase and install hardware and manage onsite infrastructure.

SaaS (Software as a Service) is the kind of cloud computing often used in business. SaaS applications are easy to use, have high availability and can be accessed from any device that runs the web browser or app. They are typically purchased per seat or per user and eliminate the need to purchase and install software packages for each employee. They also come with devices that support them.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) is another cloud computing service that allows application development and deployment through the cloud. It lets developers build tests, deploy, and manage complete apps in one location. Microsoft Azure, AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Google App Engine are all notable examples.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is another version of cloud computing which offers basic computer infrastructure capabilities like data storage, servers and hardware in the cloud. This lets companies host large platforms without investing in large physical infrastructures. Notable IaaS providers include DigitalOcean, Amazon EC2 and RackSpace.

Cloud-based software automatically refresh and update themselves, which reduces the time required for IT departments to perform an organization-wide manual upgrade of their systems. This can free IT staff and IT budgets from unnecessary external IT consulting costs, according to PCWorld. Cost uncertainty: Pay-as-you go subscription plans and the need to scale resources to accommodate fluctuating workload demands can make it difficult for businesses to predict their final cloud costs.