It's just a rebranding of the "service bureau" business model from the 1970's in the early days of the industry when mainframes maxed out at 64K of RAM and 300 bps data connections (56K if you could afford a dedicated leased line at a cost of $8,300/month).
System/370 Model 145, a mainframe computer that was state of the art at the time of its inception. It had 500 KB of RAM, 233 megabytes of hard disk space, and ran at 2.5 MHz. It took up an entire room.
Nowadays, this computer would be able to store a small collection of photos and (slowly) access them. Not much else! You could double its 32,000 characters of control storage to 64,000 by "using a portion of main memory, if needed, to accommodate optionally available functions."
Adjusted for inflation, this computer would cost you between $4.3 million and $10.8 million in today's dollars, depending on the options you selected.