Recent times, there has been discussions regarding the use of cloud-based office productivity tools in a modern office set up. Most of the organisations imply that web-based office solutions cannot be a replacement for desktop tools. The desktop tools have become a part of routine work procedure at desk. Major concern arises only if there is any problem in running or non-availability of tools.

The three common cloud computing tools for businesses available through hosted services using Internet are:

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): This cloud computing tool with its low cost services helps organisations to access software from servers using web browsers. SaaS applications are available with procuring a subscription from the service provider. The application not only reduces the cost of buying a licensed software, it also reduces the need for technical staff to manage and upgrade software. Some of the SaaS providers for business are Salesforce, Google Apps, and Dropbox.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): This cloud computing tool can help organisations by providing the platform to develop and run their own application. PaaS applications provide users a virtual environment where the service providers take care of the network infrastructure, server hardware, server software and the operating system. Some of the PaaS providers are Google App Engine, Heroku, and OpenShift from Red Hat.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): Utilising this tool, users can build a virtual data centre in the cloud. Users can access directly their storage, servers, and operating systems as they would access the traditional servers at their office. The service provider hosts, maintains, and controls the cloud infrastructure. The tool is available as pay on a per-use basis. IaaS is more of a data center replacement. Some of the IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, Vmware, and Citrix.