SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are three acronyms often interchanged in conversations concerning cloud computing and are pretty important. By understanding what they stand for, you will better understand the cloud computing trend of focusing on customer experience. They are all necessary for utilizing Cloud services at your company as well to ensure you provide your customers with the best possible experience. By understanding these acronyms you can also help explain cloud computing to others, and help clarify if a product is capable of the features your company requires; and whether or not the product will be right for you.

The Cloud is a set of technologies that provides any user with on-demand access to network-based services and data. In a nutshell, this means that instead of your IT department having to provide you with every single program you might need, from word processors to email clients, all of these programs are housed online and are accessed by a simple Internet connection in the form of a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

What is SaaS

A cloud-based SaaS or Software as a Service solution is an application, application service, or software product that can be hosted online by an IT company and accessed through the Internet. It means that, in many cases, for a monthly fee, your IT department will provide you with the software you need. What makes this so great is that there are no servers to maintain (or buy), and it’s all provided by the company that owns the software. For example, a SaaS solution might include email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Office365, Gmail, and Google Apps. Web-based productivity suites such as Intuit Quickbooks Online, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Apple iTunes will likely fall under this category too. A SaaS solution can be accessed from any computer or Internet-connected device.

What is PaaS

A platform as a service (PaaS) is an application, application service, or software product hosted online, but it is, for the most part, in the hands of the developer and does not require IT staff to run or maintain it. A developer will build and create your desired application and host it online for you. It can be integrated with other apps, such as email clients and web browsers, making them easier to access from one central location. Some apps that fall under this category are WordPress, Weebly, and Squarespace. They can also provide your IT department with the software you need to run things like websites and servers. It can be a handy tool for companies that want to leave their IT department in charge of their server management.

What is IaaS

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is an application, application service, or software product that will run on top of hardware provided by the environment provider. It might include web hosting, domain registration, data storage, and email. That means you will not have to worry about your IT department setting up anything; they will provide you with a computer or server, and then you will have complete control over installing any software. It is beneficial if you don’t have complete control over all of your servers and would like to have them managed by someone else. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are two examples of this type of product.

Many different companies and organizations offer cloud computing as a service solution. In short, they do so because they think it’s a good idea to shift more control over their customers so that their customers can buy the service on an as-needed basis.

Key Takeaway

The Cloud Computing trend is just beginning, and because systems work in many ways, it’s essential to know what each term means. It’s also beneficial for understanding what SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS mean. It allows you to choose a cloud computing solution that might be a good fit for your company or better understand how a product works when you encounter it online.