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You've probably heard the phrase "cloud computing" thrown around before, but never really understood what it meant. Or perhaps you've heard about storing data in "the cloud" without any explanation of how this works. This new(ish) technology has quickly become one of the most important digital assets for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Here's a quick look at the three main sectors of cloud computing: the public cloud, the private cloud, and the hybrid cloud.

Public Cloud

The public cloud is what most businesses use when they look for cloud computing services. It's estimated that around 88% of businesses using the cloud are using public platforms while 63% are using private platforms. A public cloud service operates through a public network and services (including data storage and individual applications) may not be as secure or customizable as on the private cloud.

You may have already heard about popular public cloud platforms such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google; these companies generally provide cloud-based services for personal use to individuals while providing similar but more comprehensive and structured services for organizations. Independent IT companies providing managed network services can also have public cloud platforms; these are offered on a much smaller scale but are just as secure and structured as big-name offerings.

Private Cloud

In terms of infrastructure, there are very few differences between the private and public clouds. The biggest reason why businesses choose to use private cloud computing platforms is focused on security. Private cloud services are hosted internally, which means that the computing infrastructure is hosted on a private platform that isn't shared by multiple businesses.

Many businesses find that a private cloud system alleviates security concerns because each platform is used by only one business. The ability to have more control over security aspects allows each business to create a cloud-based system that fits their needs. Another big benefit is that businesses can experiment with a variety of different cloud computing programs before committing to and investing in one program.

Hybrid Cloud

As the name suggests, the hybrid cloud is a mix between public and private cloud applications. Around 82% of businesses that use an enterprise (private) cloud computing program also use the public cloud, meaning that they rely on a hybrid model. A hybrid cloud computing model can be a great choice for businesses that need a certain amount of security for sensitive information, but don't necessarily need the highest level of security for all of their daily operations. This model allows businesses to experiment with different types of applications and to receive help from experienced IT network consultants.

IT experts estimate that around 60% of organizations will use a cloud-based infrastructure of some sort by 2018. Will your business be part of that group? It's time to find out! Leave a comment below or contact us today for more information about how cloud computing services can help your business succeed.

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