The entire world is slowly migrating to cloud-based services and systems to improve their business efficiency. It is imperative to leverage the power of cloud-based technology to gain a competitive edge in the current market scenario.
Well, though most companies are eager to deploy cloud-based infrastructure, they often face numerous challenges. One of the most difficult parts of this process is choosing the right cloud service model. You want to opt for a solution that is ideal, cost-effective, and easy to deploy.
If you have decided to move your business to the cloud, here are the top three categories of cloud-computing services that you need to know:
- SaaS – Software as a Service
- PaaS – Platform as a Service
- IaaS- Infrastructure as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service is the most popular of all cloud application services and accounts for nearly 24% of all business enterprise workloads. SaaS utilizes the internet to provide all its applications and delivers them through a third-party vendor.
Software as a Service is a model where the service provider handles all major tasks such as the maintenance, delivery, infrastructure, and deployment of the software. Most SaaS applications can be run on a web browser. They do not usually require any downloading or installation.
Since the vendor handles all the technical issues related to data, servers, storage, security, and support, the SaaS model does not require you to set up a dedicated team of IT personnel to look after the maintenance and upkeep of such solutions. Some relevant examples of SaaS include Google Apps, Salesforce, DropBox, GoToMeeting, and Cisco WebEx.
- The main advantage of SaaS-based cloud applications is that organizations do not have to worry about maintaining, installing, and updating the software.
- The Software as a Service model ensures that your core team remains free to focus on more strategic business goals
- It is easily accessible over the internet through any device at any time. Users just have to log into their accounts to run the software application.
- SaaS deployment is highly cost-effective. Most solutions can be used with a licensed subscription after making a payment or for free with limited access.
When To Use SaaS:
Even if you are convinced that the Software as a Service cloud model is a smart option, you still need to check whether it will work for your business or not. Here are some examples of businesses and processes that could especially benefit from SaaS-based cloud applications:
- Emerging startups or small businesses that do not have the time and resources to manage servers and complex software deployment
- Short-term business projects that require a lot of team collaboration
- Applications that are both web and mobile-based
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
A recently emerging technology, Platform as a Service is a cloud service that enables organizations to test, develop, and organize their own applications. A PaaS service vendor generally provides the hardware and software components over the Internet, and the internal IT staff can use these tools to develop applications.
The best aspect of PaaS is that it delivers a cloud framework for developers to customize or build upon existing applications for their business. This means that while the servers, security, and system maintenance are handled by the third-party vendor, the internal IT staff can manage the software applications.
PaaS solutions are delivered through the internet. Hence, companies do not need to worry about any kind of software updates, operating system management, and IT infrastructure. Some leading examples of PaaS include Windows Azure, Heroku, Apache Stratos, and Google App Engine.
- PaaS enables developers to customize applications without the hassles of maintaining and securing the servers.
- PaaS is growing in popularity for its simplicity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.
- PaaS applications do not require much coding.
- PaaS can be adapted to the hybrid cloud model with ease and is also highly scalable.
When To Use PaaS
The PaaS cloud infrastructure can work well for most organizations. Here are some examples:
- PaaS is a smart choice for businesses that want to develop a specific or unique application to serve their objectives.
- Most companies prefer PaaS if they have multiple developers and vendors working on a common project.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service is basically a framework that provides all computing resources virtually over the cloud. It offers businesses the option to purchase all the resources that they need such as storage space, servers, and networking solutions.
A highly innovative technology, Infrastructure as a Service delivers all cloud computing resources such as servers, networking platforms, and operating systems through virtualization. This means that IaaS users can still access their data, servers, and networks as an outsourced virtual center, without having to physically manage or maintain it – a win-win situation for any company!
- One of the most flexible cloud-based models, IaaS is convenient in terms of storage, deployment, and scalability.
- The most beneficial aspect of the IaaS framework is that the hardware component can be purchased based on actual requirements.
- IaaS users retain full control by managing their IT infrastructure and investing only in the required computing resources.
When To Use IaaS
If you are convinced that Infrastructure as a Service is just the right cloud service model for your organization, we say go ahead and invest in it at the earliest! However, there are certain situations when it would prove to be the most beneficial:
- Startups and smaller companies may prefer to use IaaS, as they can scale up gradually instead of maintaining a massive IT infrastructure.
- Larger companies that are dealing with rapid growth may also prefer to opt for IaaS as they can modify any hardware or software easily, as their business needs change and evolve.
Which Way to Go?
Organizations need to know the key differences between Iaas, PaaS, and SaaS so that they can implement the most suitable cloud-based framework for their business. Each cloud service model varies in its functionality, feature base, and specifications. Businesses must analyze their IT requirements and study the external business environment before making a long-term decision.
Moving to the cloud is the ideal way to future-proof your business. Every business needs to first determine their end objectives, and then weigh the cost-effectiveness and feasibility before choosing between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
No matter what you choose, any of these solutions will surely have a remarkable and profoundly positive impact on your business and enhance its performance!