As more businesses move their operations to the cloud, the difference between SaaS and cloud computing has become harder to understand.
Many people use these terms interchangeably, however, there are distinct qualities that separate the two.
In this article, we’ll explore the difference between SaaS and cloud computing and help you understand which type of solution is best for your business.
What is SaaS?
Software-as-a-Service is a software delivery model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over an internet connection. With SaaS, businesses can access and use software applications without having to install, maintain, or upgrade them on their own servers.
SaaS is often used for common business applications such as email, accounting, and project management. Examples of popular SaaS applications include Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Dropbox.
One of the main benefits of SaaS is that it eliminates the need for businesses to purchase and manage their hardware and software. Instead, businesses can subscribe to a SaaS application and access it from anywhere with an internet connection.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing resources, such as servers, storage, and software applications hosted on a cloud-based infrastructure.
With cloud computing, businesses can access online computing resources on a pay-per-use basis, which allows them to scale their resources up or down as needed.
Cloud computing is often divided into three categories:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): In this model, businesses rent virtualized computing resources, such as servers and storage, from a cloud provider.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): In this model, businesses rent a cloud platform that includes an operating system, programming language, and development tools. This allows businesses to develop, test, and deploy applications without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): In this model, businesses rent software applications from a third-party provider, as described above.
What’s the Difference Between SaaS and Cloud?
One main difference between SaaS and cloud computing is the level of control that businesses have over their IT infrastructure. With SaaS, businesses rent software applications that are hosted on a third-party server. This means that the business does not have direct control over the infrastructure and relies on the SaaS provider to maintain and upgrade the software.
On the other hand, cloud computing provides businesses with greater control over their IT infrastructure. With cloud computing, businesses can rent computing resources such as storage, processing power, and networking on a pay-per-use basis. This means that the business has greater control over the infrastructure and can scale up or down as needed.
Another key difference between SaaS and cloud computing is the type of services that are offered. SaaS typically provides a specific application or software solution, such as email, accounting, or project management.
Cloud computing, on the other hand, offers a wide range of services including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).
While both SaaS and cloud computing can be cost-effective solutions for businesses, the pricing structure is different for each option. With SaaS, businesses typically pay a monthly or annual subscription fee for each user or application.
With cloud computing, businesses pay for the computing resources they use on a pay-per-use basis. This can be more cost-effective for businesses that have fluctuating demands for computing resources.
Security is a concern for all businesses, and it’s important to understand the security implications of SaaS and cloud computing. With SaaS, the responsibility for securing the software application rests with the SaaS provider. This means that businesses must trust the provider to maintain the security of the application and the data it contains.
With cloud computing, businesses are responsible for securing their data and applications, but the cloud provider is responsible for securing the underlying infrastructure.
With SaaS, businesses typically have limited customisation options for the software application. This is because the application is hosted on a third-party server and the provider may not allow customisation.
With cloud computing, businesses have greater flexibility to customise their computing resources to meet their specific needs.
Which Solution is Right for Your Business?
Now that we’ve explored the key difference between SaaS and cloud computing, how do you decide which solution is right for your business? Here are some factors to consider:
- If you need greater control over your IT infrastructure, cloud computing may be the better option.
- SaaS may be the better option if you need a specific software application, such as email or project management. Cloud computing may be the better option if you need a wide range of computing resources.
- Consider your budget and computing resource needs. If you have fluctuating demands for computing resources, cloud computing may be the more cost-effective option.
- Consider the security implications of each option and how they align with your business’s security requirements.
- Cloud computing may be the better option if you require customisation options for your computing resources.
Understanding the Difference Between SaaS and Cloud
SaaS and cloud computing are both popular solutions for businesses that want to save time and money while improving their IT infrastructure.
By understanding the difference between SaaS and cloud computing and considering your business’s specific needs and requirements, you can decide which solution is right for your business.
Cloud services are fast becoming the norm for any modern business. However, there are so many solutions available that spending time finding the right system for you can cost your business a significant amount of time and money and runs the risk of you implementing a solution that isn’t ideal.
YourShortlist can help you find the right cloud service for your needs. We offer expert, non-chargeable buying advice to help you find the right system and can provide a shortlist of potential vendors depending on your specific requirements.
Get in touch with our team today so we can help you find your ideal solution.