Cloud ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a

Cloud computing is
relatively new in Nigeria and a lot of businesses are embracing the concept
because of its numerous benefits. Startups and young businesses mostly prefer
hosting their data on the cloud as it is more affordable than having on premise
data centers.

Muhammed, Zaharaddeen, Rumana and Turaki
(2015) identified other benefits of cloud computing in Nigeria to include ease
of deployment, scalability, ability to measure usage, pay-as-you-go, among
others. Muhammed, Zaharaddeen, Rumana and Turaki (2015) reviewed another study
by Hinchliffe in 2009 on the immense benefits of cloud computing. Hincliffe
(2009) posited that “It is obvious cloud computing has helped in reducing cost,
ease IT intricacies and enhance the availability of update technology”

            Cloud
computing seems to be a buzzword and means the delivery of information and
communications technologies, ICTs as compute, storage, network, applications,
etc., managed remotely by service providers so that customers who pay for them
and are subscribed can connect over the internet to the “resources” that have been
provisioned for them according to their demand. The National Institute of
Standards and Technology, NIST puts it more succinctly

“Cloud computing is a model
for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool
of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage,
applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with
minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is
composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four
deployment models.” (Mell and Grance, 2011).

From the above definition, we
can deduce that with cloud computing, you can use IT resources storage, CPU
cores, applications, etc., from your laptop or desktop but they are not
actually installed on them or sitting on your premise. They are managed
remotely by service providers who can afford the necessary infrastructure to
provide such services.  You determine the
amount of resources needed based on your business requirements and pay the
service providers to provide you access into their infrastructure to the
resources.  

            Cloud service are delivered in three broad service models
namely; Infrastructure-as-a-Service, IaaS; Software-as-a-Service, SaaS; and
Platform-as-a-Service, PaaS.

            Infrastructure-as-a-Service is a form of cloud computing
that offers hardware services as physical or virtual servers, storage, networks
and other compute resources. The consumer is able to provision and manage these
resources from a self-service portal created by the service provider. The
consumer does not manage the underlying IT architecture. However, the resources
provisioned at the consumer end is resident on the infrastructure of the
service provider.

            In Software-as-a-Service, service providers enable
consumers to use applications running on the former’s cloud infrastructure.  Some of the applications hosted on the cloud
include ERP, CRM, billing applications, web hosting, etc. the burden of
development and management of these applications is borne by the service
provide while the consumer can access the application with end-user devices.

            Platform-as-a-Service provides consumers the capabilities
to deploy and manage applications on the cloud. The consumers does not manage
the infrastructure needed to develop and host the application.

The classification above
summarizes the different levels of services provided by vendors. In reality,
cloud service providers deliver a lot of other products and technologies and is
often generally referred to as XaaS or Anything-as-a-Service.