Cloud Computing for Supply Chain

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What is Cloud Computing for Supply Chain?- Definition

Cloud computing is the delivery of different services through the Internet. These resources include tools and applications like data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software.

Rather than keeping files on a proprietary hard drive or local storage device, cloud-based storage makes it possible to save them to a remote database. As long as an electronic device has access to the web, it has access to the data and the software programs to run it.

Cloud computing is a popular option for people and businesses for a number of reasons including cost savings, increased productivity, speed and efficiency, performance, and security.


Understanding Cloud Computing for Supply Chain

Cloud computing is named as such because the information being accessed is found remotely in the cloud or a virtual space. Companies that provide cloud services enable users to store files and applications on remote servers and then access all the data via the Internet. This means the user is not required to be in a specific place to gain access to it, allowing the user to work remotely.

Cloud computing takes all the heavy lifting involved in crunching and processing data away from the device you carry around or sit and work at. It also moves all of that work to huge computer clusters far away in cyberspace. The Internet becomes the cloud, and voilà—your data, work, and applications are available from any device with which you can connect to the Internet, anywhere in the world.

Cloud computing can be both public and private. Public cloud services provide their services over the Internet for a fee. Private cloud services, on the other hand, only provide services to a certain number of people. These services are a system of networks that supply hosted services. There is also a hybrid option, which combines elements of both the public and private services.

Key Takeaways

  • Cloud computing is the delivery of different services through the Internet, including data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software.
  • Cloud-based storage makes it possible to save files to a remote database and retrieve them on demand.
  • Services can be both public and private—public services are provided online for a fee while private services are hosted on a network to specific clients.

Types of Cloud Computing for Supply Chain

Cloud computing is not a single piece of technology like a microchip or a cellphone. Rather, it's a system primarily comprising three services: software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

  1. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) involves the licensing of a software application to customers. Licenses are typically provided through a pay-as-you-go model or on-demand. 
  2. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) involves a method for delivering everything from operating systems to servers and storage through IP-based connectivity as part of an on-demand service. Clients can avoid the need to purchase software or servers, and instead procure these resources in an outsourced, on-demand service. 
  3. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is considered the most complex of the three layers of cloud-based computing. PaaS shares some similarities with SaaS, the primary difference being that instead of delivering software online, it is actually a platform for creating software that is delivered via the Internet. 

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