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Cloud Computing is seen by many as the future of IT - "you have to be in the Cloud”. However, very few people really understand what it is.

The ‘cloud’ is the internet (being online) and there's a good chance that you are already using some form of cloud computing, such as an email account like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. Instead of running the email program on your computer, you log in to an email account online. The software and storage for your account isn’t saved on your computer - it's on your service provider’s computer.

Cloud computing is about putting less on your PCs (or servers) and outsourcing more to someone else. In short, it’s about buying in computer services rather than doing it yourself. So instead of lots of computer hardware and software, located somewhere inside your computer network, these are provided by another company and accessed over the internet. Exactly where the hardware and software is located and how it works doesn't matter to you at all; it’s just out there. Hence the ‘cloud’.

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