"Cloud computing is a method of provisioning computing
resources, including both hardware and software, that relies on
sharing those resources rather than using local servers or personal
devices to handle applications.
"In theory, cloud computing is a way for IT departments to
increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly, without having to
invest in new infrastructure, train new personnel or license new
"In the cloud computing model, workers log into a Web-based
service that hosts all the programs the users need for their jobs,
from e-mail to word processing to complex Business Intelligence
software. The service, and the hardware it runs on, is deployed,
maintained and upgraded by another company, which generally offers
service-level agreements (SLAs) to guarantee the service.
"Examples of cloud computing include using Google App Engine to
run your company's e-mail services, contracting with Amazon Web
Services to host your infrastructure, or contracting with
Salesforce.com to provision your company's customer relationship
management (CRM) software."