Cloud application servers typically are located in a remote data center operated by a third-party cloud services infrastructure provider. Cloud-based application tasks may encompass email, file storage and sharing, order entry, inventory management, word processing, customer relationship management (CRM), data collection, or financial accounting features.
Benefits of cloud apps
Fast response to business needs. Cloud applications can be updated, tested and deployed quickly, providing enterprises with fast time to market and agility. This speed can lead to culture shifts in business operations.
Simplified operation. Infrastructure management can be outsourced to third-party cloud providers.
Instant scalability. As demand rises or falls, available capacity can be adjusted.
API use. Third-party data sources and storage services can be accessed with an application programming interface (API). Cloud applications can be kept smaller by using APIs to hand data to applications or API-based back-end services for processing or analytics computations, with the results handed back to the cloud application. Vetted APIs impose passive consistency that can speed development and yield predictable results.
Gradual adoption. Refactoring legacy, on-premises applications to a cloud architecture in steps, allows components to be implemented on a gradual basis.
Reduced costs. The size and scale of data centres run by major cloud infrastructure and service providers, along with competition among providers, has led to lower prices. Cloud-based applications can be less expensive to operate and maintain than equivalents on-premises installation.
Improved data sharing and security. Data stored on cloud services is instantly available to authorized users. Due to their massive scale, cloud providers can hire world-class security experts and implement infrastructure security measures that typically only large enterprises can obtain. Centralized data managed by IT operations personnel is more easily backed up on a regular schedule and restored should disaster recovery become necessary.