Cloud vs SaaS
In analysis / By Ben Wheatley / 21 October 2019
In computing, you’ll often hear two terms: Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS). As a business, you’ll have to decide what system to use to run your business. With cloud computing and SaaS being the typical choices for a business, we take a look at what both terms mean and how they can benefit your organisation.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a term involved with delivering a hosted service across the internet. The services are usually divided into various categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
No longer an emerging platform, cloud computing is now mainstream amongst many businesses today with software such as Microsoft Teams, Trello and Slack integrated into many organisations. Software solutions such as ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planners), content management and CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) are also used every day.
According to CenturyLink and Statista, the growth of cloud computing is expected to rise to $411bn by 2020.
What is The Cloud?
The cloud is essentially the internet with giving you access to your application and data wherever you are in the world on any device. All you need is an internet connection and a log-in to the service.
Before the advance of cloud computing, businesses required their own on-premise servers or hardware to use applications. Traditional software required a CD installation to be able to use it. Nowadays, businesses don’t have to own or operate their assets to work with because the hard work is completed by the software providers.
Cloud service providers are third parties who can host all of your software from a remote server where all data is processed and stored. To provide an efficient service, data centres are used so you can access your private cloud from anywhere.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
By partnering with a cloud computing provider, organisations don’t have to host or maintain servers for their software. Cloud computing gives you access to your data 24/7. Costs are typically lower, as you only pay for space on the servers and this is usually done using a subscription model, giving you the opportunity to scale when you need to.
What is Software as a Service?
Software as a Service is a software licensing delivery model which users are allowed to use for a fee. Access to the software is granted via a web browser and the software doesn’t need to be installed or maintained locally by a business to be used.
The provider of SaaS applications is responsible for the performance, security and maintenance of the application across their servers. Essentially, SaaS delivers and maintains applications for your business as a service.
Benefits of SaaS
Much like cloud computing, SaaS is a cost-effective solution for giving you real-time access to software anywhere you have an internet connection. Server maintenance is also handled by the third party and you can have as few as 10 or even up to 10,000 users with access to the same software. SaaS providers can also customise/configure your software if needed. Finally, by partnering with Nasstar for example, our relationships with the leading software manufacturers means we work with them on your behalf when required.
IaaS and PaaS use cloud computing but give users different capabilities. SaaS is strictly for access to a software application over the internet.
SaaS and Cloud
While different services, both cloud computing and SaaS have a lot of similarities.
With cloud computing, users are able to customise and manage applications on servers managed by third parties. Through the internet, you can access your server’s storage.
The SaaS model gives businesses the freedom of not having to maintain physical servers or cloud-based software. Instead, you pay a subscription fee to a third party who gives you access via a web browser. If you prefer more management and customisation over your applications, then cloud computing would benefit you more because you lose this benefit with SaaS.