Cloud computing — immediate access to applications like networks, databases and servers over the internet — is quickly becoming a staple in modern business. It encompasses both the public cloud — an on-demand service where data storage is managed through a third-party provider — and hybrid cloud — a mixed environment made up of public cloud and private cloud services.
Virtually all industries can benefit in some way from cloud computing services. Many companies choose to store data on the cloud rather than locally on a server. Other organizations use cloud computing to allocate user permissions so that each employee has access to the right files, networks and contacts.
Cloud computing services have evolved from a 1963 Massachusetts Institute of Technology project into the online file-sharing process, computing resources users enjoy today. Cloud computing as a practice leapt forward in 1999 when Salesforce, a popular customer relationship management (CRM) platform, became a successful case study for secure, online data storage.
Amazon redefined private cloud computing and hybrid cloud computing in 2006 through the debut of its Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Services became the first cloud provider allowing users to rent virtual computers for private or corporate use. Google Docs would launch the same year, the first cloud-native office suite available online. Another prominent cloud service provider is Microsoft Azure.
Today, cloud computing platforms continue to evolve to parallel developments in modern cybersecurity threats. While traditional servers might lack adequate backup storage or regular security updates, thereby jeopardizing data, responsible cloud computing providers feature enhanced data security protocols and automatic security updates.