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A Beginner’s Guide To Cloud Computing in 2024

By the end of 2024, end users will have spent an astounding $678.8 billion on cloud computing. And with the average enterprise using some 1,295 cloud services, it is hardly surprising that Vice President Analyst at Garner describes the Cloud as “essentially indispensable.”

But what exactly is cloud computing and why is it so popular? Cloud services refer to software and programs that run in “the Cloud” (essentially over the internet). They can be accessed from anywhere and have low operating costs due to their pay-for-what-you-need model.

Read on to learn all you need to know about cloud computing, how it works, the different types and how to make best use of the Cloud. 

What is cloud computing?

The rise of remote working has led to significant, widespread use of on-demand IT services delivered via the Cloud. Cloud apps, like Google Drive and Microsoft 365, allow you to access files or programs remotely over the internet simply by logging in from a device or computer. They are also updated in real-time making the Cloud particularly useful for workplace collaboration. 

Common cloud computing services include:


Cloud-based services offer flexible, pay-as-you-go payment options, with the choice to expand your storage space if you need to.

Why is it called the Cloud?

Cloud computing services gained their namesake due to their secure virtual locations. As the precise location is unimportant to consumers, virtual storage was once referred to as “belonging in a cloud somewhere”. It has now become a widely accepted term.

How does cloud computing work?

Cloud computing utilises a technology known as virtualisation. This allows IT services traditionally bound to hardware to be provided virtually. The Cloud is made possible using a collection of simulated virtual machines that operate the same way as a physical computer.

A company’s data and information is stored on these virtual servers and looked after by a cloud infrastructure provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. Users can access this information on any device with a secure internet connection.

Looking for support with setting up your services in the Cloud? Trusted IT provider Arc Systems, is a Microsoft Gold cloud solution partner. Arc offers multiple cloud services, including hosting your systems in a private cloud, offering a hybrid cloud solution with Office 365, or even the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

What industries use cloud computing?

Businesses across all industries use cloud computing to save time, scale operations, and store data.

Industries leveraging cloud computing include:

Cloud-computing is also widely used across agriculture, education, energy, retail, travel and more.


Cloud Computing Solutions

What are the benefits of cloud computing? 

Cloud computing has become essential for businesses that need to rapidly deploy tools and services. Cloud services are highly cost-effective as they eliminate the need for on-site hardware and reduce staffing needs. In fact, they save businesses up to 30% on IT costs. 

Cloud services allow for real-time updates, allowing for easy collaboration and immediate file access for staff and clients. With seamless remote management, businesses can operate applications, store data, and manage communications effortlessly. 

Cloud services also provide improved security options, including built-in protocols and compliance support. Cloud disaster recovery capabilities can also safeguard critical data and systems.

Types of cloud computing

Three main types of Cloud service include public, private, and hybrid. 

Private Cloud Services

If your business wishes to use a cloud resource exclusively, the private cloud (also known as an internal or corporate cloud) is the best solution. Private cloud services create a private internal network for approved users within the business that is highly secure. It uses firewalls to help keep sensitive data confidential and protected.

A private cloud offers greater control over resource management and access, increased security through obscurity, and high performance due to exclusive access. However, it has higher maintenance costs and limited scalability, as it relies on the business’s internal resources.

At Arc Systems, we can host your company’s systems in our secure private cloud. We will maintain the infrastructure on your behalf and keep everything running smoothly.

Public Cloud Services

Public clouds provide a shared platform used by multiple businesses across the globe via the internet. They are often a cheaper solution as your company will share the Cloud with others. However, this does not affect speed or performance.

All of your employees can use the same application and services simultaneously, provided they have an internet connection. They operate on a pay-per-use basis. Public clouds are owned, maintained, and run by businesses, government agencies, or both.

Public clouds offer several advantages, including: 

However, they come with disadvantages such as lower security due to shared resources, and less customisation options since they are designed for multiple users.

Hybrid Cloud Services

This solution usually combines the public and private cloud environments. This involves the connection of at least one public cloud and one private cloud to manage computing workloads. It allows businesses to reap the benefits of multiple cloud computing vendors to create a cost-effective solution.

 A hybrid cloud offers the agility of public clouds with the customisation of private clouds. It enables faster data transfers and optimisation for specific business needs. It provides flexibility by allowing sensitive data to be stored privately and standard information publicly, and ensures reliability by using private infrastructure if public servers fail. 

On the flip side, it can suffer from a lack of user control over changes and potential performance issues due to public cloud compatibility.

What are the 3 main cloud models? 

The most common types of cloud models include the following.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This is the most basic cloud service. This is when a business rents its required storage from a cloud provider. They can then start building new applications using this online space and can update it at any time, anywhere. We provide the space; you bring the tools.

Companies benefit from IaaS in multiple ways:


Platform as a Service (PaaS)

This service provides everything a company needs to develop their own unique applications. Renting these tools instead of owning them, can save valuable time and money. This online platform can be accessed on most devices using the internet.

The benefits of PaaS include:


Software as a Service (SaaS)

This service involves connecting users to cloud-based apps via the internet, like Microsoft Office 365. Your business will rent an app for customer/employee use. Users just need to log in on a web browser to use your application, for example, Slack or MailChimp. Both hardware and software will be managed by your service provider.

SaaS services offer multiple advantages:

How can businesses use cloud computing?

Businesses and individuals leverage cloud computing for multiple purposes.

For large-scale storage

Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive provide scalable cloud storage solutions. A small business can store all its documents, images, and other digital assets in the cloud, allowing employees to access files from anywhere. 

To build & test innovative applications

Businesses may use high-tech, cloud-native tools to develop, deploy and update applications for web and mobile. Developers might use platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure to build, test, and deploy apps.