Cloud computing describes the use of networks of remote servers - usually accessed over the internet - to store, manage, and process data. As a segment of IT services, cloud computing was expected to generate over 400 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2022, and shows very few signs of slowing down.
The largest segment of cloud computing is software as a service (SaaS). This segment generates the largest share of the total cloud computing market's revenue and has become a standard delivery model for many enterprise applications. Popular applications of SaaS include customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning software. Under this model, customers pay for access to software and databases while the service provider manages the infrastructure and platforms. Salesforce, Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP are all major players in this segment.
Platform as a Service
On the next tier, platform as a service (PaaS) grants customers access to a computing platform for application development. This platform may include an operating system, web servers, databases, and access to one or more programming language environments. Among the most prominent PaaS providers are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud. While experts predict that the cloud platform market will grow rapidly over the next decade, it is nevertheless expected to remain the smallest cloud computing segment by some margin.
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Lionel Sujay Vailshery
Research expert covering the consumer electronics industry