The ability to create rich, detailed models of natural and artificial phenomena and to process large volumes of experimental data created by a new generation of scientific instruments that are themselves powered by computing makes computing a universal intellectual amplifier, advancing all of science and engineering and powering the knowledge economy.

Cloud computing is the latest technological evolution of computational science, allowing groups to host, process, and analyze large volumes of multidisciplinary data. Consolidating computing and storage in very large datacenters creates economies of scale in facility design and construction, equipment acquisition, and operations and maintenance that are not possible when these elements are distributed.

— The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery by Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley, et al.