How does cloud computing work?

Rather than owning their own computing infrastructure or data centers, companies can rent access to anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider. One benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it.

In turn, providers of cloud computing services can benefit from significant economies of scale by delivering the same services to a wide range of customers.

What cloud computing services are available?