Cloud computing is reshaping enterprise network architectures and infrastructures. It refers to applications delivered as services over the Internet as well as the hardware and systems software in data centers that provide those services. The services themselves have long been referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS) which had its roots in Software-Oriented Architecture (SOA) concepts that began shaping enterprise network road maps in the early 2000s. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS(Platform as a Service) are other types of cloud computing services that are available to business customers.
Cloud computing fosters the notion of computing as a utility that can be consumed by businesses on demand in a manner that is similar to other services (e.g. electricity, municipal water) from traditional utilities. It has the potential to reshape much of the IT industry by giving businesses the option of running business software applications fully on-premises, fully in “the cloud” or some combination of these two extremes. These are choices that businesses have not had until recently and many companies are still coming to grips with this new computing landscape.