Cloud computing has changed the way businesses work. It has opened the doors to increased collaboration and the ability to access information from anywhere and at any time.

It has made the software that businesses use more flexible and cost-effective – you only pay for what you use rather than buying software off the shelf in a big initial investment. It has made scaling a business and its IT infrastructure a lot easier. But it is a little confusing.

There are still many people out there who despite using cloud services every day, don’t fully grasp the terminology involved. It’s understandable, the jargon that comes with the cloud is all very new to us.


With that in mind here is a mini cloud-computing jargon buster:

Cloud computing

This is basically getting your computing services over the internet rather than on your computer or local server.

It can refer to storage, applications, memory etc. It means you no longer have to download things onto your computer, you simply log onto the internet and your services are hosted there by a third party.


Utility computing

This refers to the pay as you go system used in cloud computing where you don’t install and maintain the service. It makes paying and using business services similar to other utilities like your water or gas.


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

There are different level of using the cloud. IaaS means that you use the cloud for services such as storage, and processing. It means you don’t have to use up all the memory in your own IT infrastructure.


Platform as a Service (PaaS)

This is a level of usage which generally only refers to developers. It is the use of the cloud as a platform on which to build and launch applications.


Software as a Service (SaaS)

This refers to the use of the cloud for applications and other software that you use for business. Anyone who uses things like Facebook, Google Docs, LinkedIn,, Microsoft 365 etc. are using SaaS – which is most of us.


Public cloud

Designed for use by multiple parties at the same time, these provide services across many geographies and offer the best value for money. They often work on a pay as you go model. Users can access their own information in a public cloud but not the information of other users.


Private cloud

This is a cloud service designed to serve only one company. It means that colleagues can work in real-time and share projects but it is not using the same cloud as users from outside the company. It suits companies to who want the benefits of the cloud but still want complete control.


Hybrid cloud

A combination of using the public and private cloud for a business’s IT needs. It’s good for businesses which are reticent to move all services into the cloud.


Cloud washing

This is the marketing technique of rebranding an old service using the cloud terminology in order to get more buzz around it.