In simple terms, cloud computing refers to remote computer services, such as hardware or storage, that can be accessed remotely via a stable internet connection. Before cloud computing, organizations had to purchase, maintain and house a stack of servers somewhere in the office. Today, companies can rent cloud servers in data centers all over the world. Using these servers, they can host their own email addresses, store their data and take advantage of a variety of services to businesses and individuals via the internet.
Put more technically, cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computer resources such as email, data storage, natural language processing, databases and software. While most people only pay attention to the storage elements (for instance, using Google Drive or Microsoft SharePoint to store a document that multiple people need to access), there are hardware advantages too.
A good example of cloud hardware usage can be found at design companies. Instead of purchasing an expensive machine capable of running CAD software, companies can now access this intensive software through less-powerful machines that remotely operate powerful machines via the cloud.