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What Is The Difference Between SaaS And Cloud Computing? Cloud Computing VS SAAS

What Is The Difference Between SaaS And Cloud Computing? Cloud Computing VS Saas

More than anything else, the uniqueness of every business need is the most crucial factor that determines technology adoption. But at some point, you may find yourself wondering about the difference between software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing. 

Perhaps, clarity in this regard will help you decide what’s needed to achieve your current business goals. 

Without consulting any managed IT services company, looking into the core concepts discussed in this post will put you on the right track. In some specific contexts, the two terms are used interchangeably. But cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) are not the same things. 

To make it even more understandable, let’s look at the basics first. 

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the practice of delivering computer storage, networking, application hosting, and data analytics to defined user segments without requiring them to invest in physical hardware. The concept of the cloud is about delivering the services mentioned above over the internet. With cloud computing services, you only pay for the resource used. That means you don’t have to invest huge money in making provisions for future demands on your business. 

The Basics of Software As A Service (SaaS)

Software as a service (SaaS) is a web-based delivery of application software to defined user groups or segments. With a SaaS model, the service provider takes care of everything including availability, security, performance optimization, and scalability. Contrary to the old model of installing the software on a particular server or computer, every user gains access to the service through a web-based browser. The other interesting thing about this type of software is that every user can customize how it works for them (workflow) without interrupting other people using the same service. 

SaaS vs Cloud Computing: What Are The Differences? 

#1: SaaS As Subset of Cloud Computing 

Cloud computing comprises different components. The core components include infrastructure, operating systems, servers, data, networking, and software application. The Main Differences between saas and cloud computing are to gain access to cloud computing services, a specialist vendor has to build a data centre and provide sufficient electric power to lay the foundation for a host of cloud-based services. In this context, software application or SaaS is just one component, not the cloud itself. 

Even though you can procure physical servers to run different in-house software applications, you cannot say that SaaS and cloud computing are the same. The other way to look at it is through the distinction between infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS). 

The Top Cloud Services Providers 

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud 
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Oracle 
  • SAP 
  • Salesforce 

#2: SaaS vs Cloud Software Licensing 

Another core difference between cloud computing and SaaS is the licensing model. Most cloud-based services use the pay-as-you-go model. That means you only pay for computing resources or services used over a specified period. Assuming you don’t use the available resources, you don’t have to pay. 

On the other hand, software as a service (SaaS) uses the subscription-based licensing model. To gain access, you should subscribe to a particular pricing plan with defined software use cases, available resources, and usage limitations. Unlike cloud computing, access to most SaaS services is time-bound. Across different SaaS niche markets, you’ll see varying subscription plans ranging from 1 – to 365 days. In most cases, it’s either you are paying monthly or annually. 

Because your subscription and access are time-bound, you may have to re-subscribe even if you do not use the services or resources provided within the stipulated time. For example, if you pay for 30 days’ access to recruitment software, it will expire after the given period. 

What are the top SAAS Companies?

Some of the most popular SaaS companies include –

  • MailChimp
  • Hubspot
  • Asana
  • Shopify 
  • SEMRush 
  • Basecamp
  • Slack 
  • Freshbook 
  • Zendesk 
  • Help Scout 

#3: Use Cases 

Another interesting difference between SaaS and cloud computing is the use cases. Even though there are slight similarities, some differences still abound between them. In terms of use cases, the majority of cloud computing platforms are built to help other people and businesses build a business (B2B) and user (B2C) facing applications. 

This is what most infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) companies do for their clients, including small SaaS businesses. 

Instead of building a cloud-based infrastructure to lay the foundation for software application development, SaaS businesses often tap into the existing resources provided by specialist cloud service providers. However, it is important to note that some SaaS businesses are built specifically to help developers build a business and user-facing software applications. 

#3: Ongoing Maintenance 

Ongoing maintenance of a cloud computing platform demands high-level expertise for dealing with a data center, physical hardware, server installations, networking systems, power systems, cooling systems, and network security. When building a simple software as a service (SaaS) application, you don’t have to deal with the ongoing maintenance of these systems. The cloud service provider will take care of the maintenance responsibilities, even when there is network downtime, cyber attack, or power outage. Technically, you can focus more on building your software applications instead of dealing with hardware and network maintenance. 

Final Thoughts on Cloud vs SAAS Differences

Regardless of the context, the nature of your business will influence the best approach to follow when you are thinking through the differences between SaaS and cloud computing. Technically, what is suitable for one type of business might not be the same for another. But now you know the difference, consider your current needs before taking further steps or committing to one technology service instead of another. To get the right path and achieve your goals faster, an experienced managed IT services consultant can guide you from the start to finish. Even a free consultation is enough to get you started.