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In the business sector, more companies are turning to cloud computing as an effective way to make information more readily accessible, streamline processes and even cut costs.

According to a new survey by consulting and business solutions organization, Tata Consultancy Services, (TCS),  which interviewed senior managers and other corporate IT executives from more than 600 businesses across the world, the study projects that the use of cloud-based applications among companies will see an increase of 18 percent by 2014. Nearly 40 percent of Latin American businesses surveyed use cloud technology, followed by 28 percent of those based in Asia Pacific, 19 percent of U.S. companies and 12 percent of European businesses.

"The early returns on cloud applications are impressive," reads a statement from TCS in its press release. "Companies using cloud applications are increasing the number of standard applications and business processes, reducing cycle times to ramp up IT resources, cutting IT costs and launching a greater number of new products and processes."

Despite its growing prevalence, some business owners might be asking themselves: "What is cloud computing?" While it may sound complex, cloud computing is actually a simple concept - it allows companies to store files and other company information in an online server.

By doing so, this data can be accessed from anywhere, and the storage capabilities are truly endless. Many business owners are already hiring cloud computing companies to convert their paper files into online files and set up a cloud storage system for company use.

Many of the cloud applications are used for furthering a business's interaction with consumers, such as marketing, sales and customer service departments. In an effort to standardize software applications, speed up business processes and cut costs in other sectors, many businesses across the world are turning to cloud computing and storage options. 

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