The question, "What is the business pay-off to the cloud?" is first and foremost on the minds of IT industry leaders, chief information officers, and business leaders. "Cloud services" supporting IT range from infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). The factors motivating moving IT services to the cloud include the ability to outsource IT services at a cost-effective rate as compared with trying to "run IT" –including the IT infrastructure and IT application portfolio internally. The "war for talent" in the IT marketplace further motivates decision-makers to use cloud services as a way of supporting IT. The purpose of this article is to compare theory with practice. The theory of cloud computing consists of a review of the literature from case studies developed by academic professionals. This article is divided into these sections: (1) the theory of the benefits of cloud computing; (2) the review of literature based upon case studies in cloud computing; (3) the practice of cloud computing based upon the Post Holdings case; and (4) the similarities between theory and practice. The summary and conclusions provide some lessons learned and recommendations for business leaders who are interested in the business payoff to the cloud.