What is cloud computing? | Google Cloud

In cloud computing, the capital investment in building and maintaining data centers is replaced by consuming IT resources as an elastic, utility-like service from a cloud provider (including storage, computing, networking, data processing and analytics, application development, machine learning, and even fully managed services).

Whereas in the past cloud computing was considered the province of startups and aggressively visionary enterprise users, today, it is part of the enterprise computing mainstream across every industry, for organizations of any type and size.

Cloud computing has made a profound impact on innovation and the economics of business overall. It gives forward-looking organizations the opportunity to not only improve flexibility, reduce costs, and focus on core competencies, but also to fully transform how they operate for example, by re-designing internal workflows or customer interactions as digital experiences that extend from the data center all the way through to mobile devices.

Specifically, the business advantages of cloud computing include:

Although some companies have lifted and shifted their entire infrastructure to the cloud as part of a full digital transformation, most will choose to take a gradual approach that presumes a hybrid environment. For that reason, its important for your cloud provider to support integration with on-premises systems via standard connectors and interfaces, in addition to open frameworks and APIs that help make customer applications portable to other platforms (whether on-premises or cloud-based).

For those organizations taking a gradual approach to a cloud migration, there are a few use cases that present good opportunities for initial success:

With your use case(s) identified, it will be important to identify your preferred method of storage, model your costs, and determine whether you will migrate your data via self-service or with the help of a vendor.

Initially, cloud computing was premised on running IT infrastructure in a more flexible, more cost-effective way. In contrast, the next wave of cloud computing is about helping customers forget about the existence of that infrastructure entirely (aka serverless computing), thereby freeing them to unlock full digital business transformation.

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What is cloud computing? | Google Cloud

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