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Published Article

Cloud vs. SaaS: Everything You Need to Know

Inxeption Editorial Team | Published 1-15-2020 | Modified 11-5-2020

It’s likely you’ve heard the terms “cloud computing” and “software as a service” (or SaaS) before. These technologies have not only become mainstream, but Forrester estimates that today’s major cloud service providers will capture 80% of all cloud revenue by 2020.

When evaluating the technology you need to run your business, it’s necessary to understand the difference between cloud-based and hosted services, the many service models, and how you can use this technology to power business growth.

What is cloud-based software and cloud computing?

Cloud-based software or platforms allow you to use the internet to access your system and services whenever and wherever you need it - including through desktop, tablet, or mobile. Cloud computing replaces the need for companies to have their own servers and hardware to run necessary business programs. Using physical software and servers is not only clunkier physically, but is also less scalable and accessible to many users. Cloud benefits vary by type of cloud and the many types of cloud computing, but cloud architecture allows for many industrial and service SaaS applications to be accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Cloud computing refers to a network of remote servers that are internet-hosted and store data as opposed to a local server. With cloud computing, you’re responsible for maintaining whatever applications you run on the provider’s server. A cloud service provider is a third party provider or platform that hosts your software on a remote server where your data is processed, stored, and that you can access to make necessary changes and optimizations.

The balance of what a third party manages and what your business manages depends on the nature of the application itself correlated with your unique business needs. For example, if you are using a more customized solution you might need more control over it.

Benefits of cloud computing

Cloud computing comes with many attractive benefits including:

  • lower costs,
  • easier access,
  • more scalable software
  • no need to worry about data security or costs of server upgrades.

What is a cloud service model?

Choosing a cloud service model to host your application has to do with what components of your software you want the provider to monitor and manage and which you want more control over. In general, there are three main cloud service models (also called “cloud delivery models”); infrastructure, software, and platform.

In the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model, the fewest components are managed by a vendor or service provider. Because of this, it is the most flexible of the cloud service options. The cloud provider in this kind of model manages the following: servers, storage, networking, security, and data center infrastructure. Your business manages the operating system, development tools, middleware, hosted applications, BI services, and database.

In the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model, the framework allows a business to develop different types of cloud applications. It has a bundle of services to make the development process easier. The cloud provider in this kind of model manages everything that the provider and the business manages in the service IaaS model, besides hosted applications.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a software licensing and delivery model that is 100% managed by the provider or vendor. Software is licensed to a user, usually on a subscription basis with a monthly fee based on the services you require, number of users, and other considerations. The application, platform, or software is accessible to the business via the internet and doesn’t need to be installed locally. The SaaS provider will run the application or platform on their own servers so they are also responsible for security, performance, and maintenance of the application.

Benefits of SaaS

Because SaaS agreements allow you to relinquish control of applications in general, they come with certain benefits including:

  • cost effectiveness
  • real time access to data
  • access at whatever time from whatever location
  • access to multiple users
  • no need to worry about server maintenance

What is the difference between cloud and SaaS?

Cloud and SaaS are closely related terms with distinct meanings. The difference is as follows:

Cloud computing

In the cloud computing domain, a user is able to customize and manage an application that is hosted remotely by a third party service provider. The business is given access to the data on the servers through the internet. It operates according to a cloud diagramming tool of users and servers.

SaaS

Under the SaaS domain, the user doesn’t have to maintain a physical server or a cloud-based software application. You pay a subscription fee (generally monthly) to access a software that is already developed via the internet. The provider manages the software, not you. Because of this, you lose some control when it comes to how the software is managed and customized.

Which type of hosting is best for my business?

Before determining what would be best for your business, consider your budget, how quickly you need to get to market or sell online, and how much flexibility you need.

Here are some general considerations for deciding between the two types of platforms above:

  • SaaS is better suited for smaller operations as it is often cheaper. It offers an integrated approach without the need for maintenance with guaranteed quality and ability to request updates
  • Cloud computing works well for large firms with more resources or who need more control over data. It has a high flexibility to its approach at an affordable price

How is Inxeption’s solution unique?

Inxeption is a SaaS platform that works well for businesses of all sizes, built on secure blockchain infrastructure to allow enterprises and small businesses more control over their data and resources. Host your website without hassle, access your commerce system anywhere, and grow your business easily.