I often get a lot of clients who ask me or misunderstand or misuse understanding of "Cloud Services". There are all types of cloud services, some of the most know ones are iCloud, Google, Dropbox, and even Facebook have been used by many as a "Cloud Service". Many of us have email accounts that we keep a Cloud Status too, whether it is your Shaw, Telus or Gmail account, when you leave all your messages on you server(mail provider), this is Cloud computing. So how do we define Cloud Services to make it make a little more sense, well basically it is a place to store electronic files that the files always reside. An example of a simple understanding of the difference of cloud and non cloud, would be your email account and how it reacts. If you can access all your email, past and present from any computer and any time with a simple login, then you probably are using a cloud service. If you have ever had email on your computer and then your computer stopped functioning and your old email was lost with your computer, then you wouldn't have been using a cloud service.
Cloud Services are basically servers that store your data that the server administrators look after. A good quality Cloud Service will back up data, keep speed and accessibility to your data reliable. Where these servers are for the most part isn't that important, but keep in mind with privacy laws, there is a chance in some legal situations, these locations may need to be known. Lawyers in Canada cannot store their data outside of Canada because of fears of privacy violations by outside countries, in particular for Canada, the US government has free access to any data stored in their country for national security reasons. For most of us this is not an issue, but I would not risk storing Copyrighted material that you are not the legal owner of on your cloud services.
So why do we like Cloud Services? Because it gives us assess to our data, email, pictures, files or anything else that is in a digital format, and from any location that has an internet connection. This also means you get a backup of your data too, in the event of a disaster you have another place to recover it from. So what are cons of Cloud Services? Well you need access to an internet connection. The speed of that connection could be detrimental to the the efficiency of your Cloud Services. But those are your two major pit falls of concern in terms of Cloud Services. Also to note, cloud services can be very economical and even free in many cases, depending on how much data you are storing.
I hope I was able to give some clarity to understanding cloud services.