“The cloud” is one of the most overused trendy tech term at the moment. But ask the man or woman on the street what it means and it’s a term a lot of people can’t clearly define.

What is the cloud? When do you encounter it? How can it benefit your business?

If you use any kind of social media or online data drive, you’re already using the cloud; you just may not realize it.

So what is the cloud exactly?

First lets make it clear, The Cloud is not a physical thing, but rather a network of servers with each having a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or “deliver a service.” Other servers in the network are responsible for storing data such as when you upload a photograph from your smartphone to a social media site.

The chances are, you already encounter the cloud daily. From iCloud to Instagram and Dropbox to Evernote, any time you store information without using up your phone’s internal data, you’re storing information on the cloud.

What are the benefits of the cloud in business?

The business decision to “move to the cloud” is often financially motivated. A survey from http://dualtec.co.uk suggests that companies used to have to buy their own hardware equipment, the value of which depreciated over time. But now with the cloud, companies only have to pay for what they use. This model makes it easy to quickly scale use up or down and its elasticity is often compared to a rubber band, allowing businesses to save money and to be both more efficient and cost-effective.