Cloud computing is seen by some as an important forward-looking model for transforming how IT operates as a services-focused organization. By pooling computing resources and enabling self-service access, clouds offer these potential advantages:
Self-service Provisioning - Allows users to deploy their own sets of computing resources (machines, network, storage, etc.) as needed without the delays and complications typically involved in resource acquisition; IT supports ongoing customization and enhancement of cloud user experience, while monitoring, managing, and expanding as required the underlying cloud infrastructure.
Scalability - Decouples the fluctuating needs of individual users from typical infrastructure constraints, thus easily accommodating rapid increases or decreases in resource demand.
Reliability and Fault-tolerance - IT can focus on improving critical pieces of infrastructure to achieve pre-determined levels of reliability. Policies addressing expected levels of reliability can be continuously reassessed and updated without user involvement.
Optimization/Consolidation - Maximizes the usage and increases the efficiency of existing infrastructure resources. Extends infrastructure lifecycle. Reduces capital expenditure.
QoS (Quality of Service) - Allows IT to dynamically reassess the SLA associated with users or groups of users for the resources allocated. Allows the organization to react quickly to changing conditions without unnecessary user involvement or knowledge.
Well-defined API - Using a well-defined and stable industry standard API avoids lock-in and ensures interoperability with an ever-growing number of tools and cloud service providers.
As-needed Availability - Aligns resource expenditure with actual resource usage thus allowing the organization to pay only for the resources required, when they are required.