Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. Cloud services have revolutionized computing, not least through IaaS, PaaS, and especially SaaS, which have allowed businesses to develop virtualized IT infrastructure and deliver software through the cloud, independent of a user's operating system.

Today, businesses can mix and match cloud services from different providers through cloud brokers in order to ensure these services work to maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness, but also to reduce the chances of vendor lock-in while also improving redundancy. This may require additional cloud management software, but for larger businesses the economic effects can be significant. Because everything is run through software platforms and virtualized networks, it means that it's easy to access and analyse data for the purposes of analytics as well as for business intelligence purposes. It also makes it easier to simplify all aspects of monitoring through cloud orchestration and the easy processing of log files through cloud logging services. The result is IT infrastructure that allows for better maintenance and patching, while providing for insights that would have previously been much more difficult to access.

One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing services is scalability, which means resources can be accessed only when needed. Services will be charged only when needed, which can drastically reduce the need to buy extra hardware. This especially applies to when storing data, as online cloud storage can be treated as effectively limitless. Even though you might be using cloud databases for your structured data, you can also archive everything else into massive data lakes for additional processing using AI and machine learning for greater insights. Altogether, cloud services offer unparalleled potential for improving business performance and increasing profits, and here we'll look at the leading cloud computing service providers, along with some additional recommendations to consider.