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Possible applications at the infrastructure level concern the specific hardware (e.g., storage, servers, and networks) or supporting infrastructure services for the construction, management, and security of cloud infrastructures (Mell & Grance, 2011).

  • "Compute as a Service": With the virtualization of servers, the components are no longer made available in-house, but rented in the cloud. For example, the processing of peak loads outsourced to the cloud in return for usage-based payment. The construction and maintenance of own server parks become superfluous by using virtual servers on a rental basis. This saves financial and spatial capacities. Virtual servers rented through an Internet connection, and their equipment is flexibly scalable depending on the scope of the problem to be processed. Within a few minutes, a server instance can be addressed and can be linked to other virtual or physical hardware to handle a task if necessary jointly.
  • "Storage as a Service": If the storage component decoupled from the server systems, it can be used for data backup and archiving. In this context, cloud computing enables smooth data migration between different providers. Leased storage space on the Internet makes large company-owned storage racks on the user side unnecessarily for a fee—the user-provided with a specific storage capacity that can be used independently of location and media.
  • "Network Services": Network services support the faster transmission of large data packets over the Internet. By transmitting content that is visually and acoustically enriched by, for example, videos, audio, and animations, the need for bandwidth during transmission increases. In addition to bandwidth leasing, this demand can be met by intelligent network technologies such as "Content Delivery Network" (CDN). The conventional method of data transmission consists of a packet-wise transfer directly between the sender and receiver. CDN describes a network of servers scattered across continents, where the primary server regularly mirrored. When a request for the corresponding content made, the closest replication server used as the transmission source. The shorter connection to the server thus offers the user better performance (Zschau, 2001). Access times, as well as up- and download times, can be minimized.
  • "Managed Services": As one of the oldest forms of cloud computing, "Managed Service Providing" (MSP) includes services and applications for other IT services. These include hosting services, setting up virtual private networks, setting up Internet access, but especially services for network security. Their central administration in the cloud allows immediate software updates or troubleshooting. The services offered also include technical support services, which are facilitated by remote access via the Internet and are more efficient in terms of cost and time.

PaaS Application Fields

The platform services are based on the infrastructure level. These comprise the range of development platforms and tools as well as programming interfaces for the development or operation of applications.

Application development: The provision of development platforms and tools on the Internet enables developers to create their software applications and execute code on an Internet platform. This eliminates the need to manage their infrastructure and build a development platform and programming software. Furthermore, initial costs and ongoing support costs for hardware and software are eliminated. A centrally managed platform promotes cooperation in distributed programming and reduces the development time of an application. When software applications developed on such an open development platform, they become more productive, portable, and flexible. The developed applications are traditional installation applications, or they can be delivered to users as SaaS.

Application operation: the provider can operate saaS for the user on a cloud platform. Running a hosted application where user interaction takes place via a web browser brings the operator the main benefits of centralized management of the application. In the business sector, data and services usually provided to third parties, so importance attached to upload options, a central update, and the flexibility of costs and administration services. When operating an application in the cloud, the effort for the administration and maintenance of own servers hosting the application minimized. Besides, large platform operators often offer more excellent reliability of resources compared to in-house operation.

SaaS application fields

The use of conventional software usually requires the purchase of a license. Installation, maintenance, and regular updates, especially when software security corrections made, are also a necessary condition for smooth operation. The provision of the required hardware to operate the application is also essential. Cloud applications are operated by a service provider on its servers, while the customer only receives the software's access. Access to these applications is via the web browser, so (as with all cloud services) use only guaranteed if an existing Internet connection is available. For users, this has the advantage that only a minimum of their hardware equipment is required, and they do not have to worry about the installation, setup, maintenance, and updating of the software. In practice, the cloud software segment encompasses a wide range of possible solutions and fields of application. These include enterprise management applications, office solutions, and Internet-based, media-independent services for virtual collaboration and communication with shared data and information storage. Web-based programs are also useful in the private sector to promote the cooperation, communication, and exchange of people. For example, social networks are also part of the concept of cloud computing. Using the following categorization, a marketplace that currently lists around 1100 SaaS providers (, 2012), a frequency distribution of the represented categories of SaaS offerings can create.

  • Accounting & Financials: Applications to support accounting, e.g., for controlling, payment transactions, financial planning or bookkeeping
  • Business Intelligence: Applications to support the operational flow of information, e.g., for data analysis, reports, administration, decision support or business planning
  • Collaboration: Applications to support the cooperation of people, e.g., via e-mail, instant messaging, telecommunications, web conferencing or document sharing
  • Content Management: Applications for the management of content, e.g., for storage, revision, enrichment or publication of content
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Applications to support the management of customer relationships, e.g., for market research, sales planning, quotation processing, order processing or invoicing
  • Document Management: Applications for the management of documents, e.g., storage, tracking, distribution of materials, knowledge management and office solutions
  • E-commerce: Applications to support online commerce, e.g., for product categorization, shopping cart transactions, tracking or customer support
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Applications to support the merchandise management system, e.g., complete solutions, production planning, production control or production data processing
  • Help desk: Applications to support customer service, e.g., chat solutions, tracking, support analyses, or complaint management.
  • Human Resources (HR): Applications to support personnel management, e.g., payroll accounting, travel expense accounting, personnel resource planning, applicant processing, and training and education
  • Marketing Automation: Applications to support the automation of marketing and sales, e.g., e-mail marketing or social network coverage
  • Project Management: Applications to support project management, e.g., time and date planning, document sharing or task assignment
  • Risk Management: Applications to support risk management, e.g., incident tracking, credit management, business continuity planning or ROI analysis
  • Sales Automation: Applications to support the automation of goods sales, e.g., warehouse management, logistics, ordering, sales forecasts or competitor analysis
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): Applications to support the management of the supply chain. e.g., tracking and control of inventory, orders, invoices, and their costs, Also, industry solutions can delimit, in the public sector, there are applications for the municipal meeting service, seminar/course administration or libraries, for example.