>cloud isn't there to save anyone any money
Well, not intentionally perhaps, but it likely manages to do so anyway. At the extreme end you have applications like R&D where the demand for computational simulation and analysis resources may fluctuate wildly - an appropriate cloud service will let them pay for only what they need, rather than needing to maintain their own peak-capable infrastructure at all times.
More commonly it trades periodic large capital outlays for hardware, plus plus ongoing rent and maintenance costs, plus the costs of a capable IT team, appropriate management and other overhead, etc,etc,etc. for a fairly predictable expense stream. Especially for smaller businesses which would have to pay interest on the capital outlay loans, or for whom the necessary IT and management infrastructure would increase dramatically, it may indeed be a good deal. There are some serious economies of scale that much of the profit margin can come from, and having a guaranteed uptime contract can no doubt be a lot less stressful for management than hoping their in-house IT team can recover from any disasters in a timely manner. There is much to be said for making expenses not directly related to your core business Somebody Else's Problem. If there weren't then car manufacturers would all be making their own bolts as well.