Subscription cloud services explained; what are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS?
Over the past couple of years, numerous businesses have adopted a cloud-based infrastructure in order to streamline data storage and programme accessibility. Under the umbrella of cloud-based services are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). All three of these service provisions are designed to minimise a business’ need for physical hardware, with provisions are designed to minimise a businesses’ need for physical hardware, with priority being given to scalability, flexibility and cost-cutting.
Today we take a deeper look into cloud computing, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS; and determine how adopting these cloud-based infrastructures can benefit your business.
Put simply, cloud computing is the delivery of IT services via the internet; these services include servers, storage, databases and other crucial business components. This method of using a network of remote servers hosted in the Cloud to store, manage and process data reduces a business' need for onsite hardware and physical maintenance.
Cloud services are delivered by remote providers, who maintain and manage public and private clouds. These companies are also responsible for the delivery of cloud computing components, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). If your business does not use cloud computing, then all hardware and software are housed, maintained and managed on-site; in this case, it’s the responsibility of your IT team to ensure systems are updated and running as usual. Cloud service providers allow you to tailor and allocate the management of one, several, or all of the parts of your infrastructure to a third party - removing the need to purchase and maintain your own infrastructure, instead accessing it as a service.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based method of delivering software. Businesses can opt to access their software and applications through the internet, removing the need for the installation, maintenance and use of complex software and hardware. SaaS applications usually run as a subscription service via a SaaS provider’s servers; with the provider managing application access, security, and performance. Software is licensed and delivered by the provider, being hosted centrally.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is an all-encompassing development and deployment method housed within the cloud; it allows users to deliver everything from basic cloud-based apps to sophisticated enterprise level apps. Resources are provided on a pay-as-you-go basis from a cloud service provider; helping businesses cut costs by avoiding software license purchase and management. Basic infrastructure such as servers, storage and networking are included with PaaS, as are more advanced aspects such as development tools, database management systems and business intelligence services.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing that provides virtualised computing services. Cloud service providers offer businesses essential services such as such as storage, server and networking resources - delivering them to subscribers via the internet. Providers manage infrastructure, allowing users to purchase, configure and manage their own software. IaaS is key to driving innovation and flexibility for the future.
Why should my business adopt the cloud?
As highlighted, there are numerous benefits to your business adopting the cloud - primarily, flexibility, scalability, security and ease of management. When utilising a cloud infrastructure, your business will store and accesses its data and programmes via the internet, instead of via your device’s hard drive. This ultimately removes the need to manage physical servers or run software on individual devices, cutting the time spent managing your IT infrastructure whilst cutting overhead costs. Specifically with SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, the need for service management is minimal, with your provider ensuring services are delivered and managed whilst giving you the flexibility to implement tailored software.
Cloud infrastructure is far more scalable than on-premises hardware and data centres; it provides a wealth of resources and services, allowing great flexibility in employee working practices and business development. As highlighted by Fitzrovia IT’s Technical Director, Anuj Mehta, “the most attractive thing about the cloud is that it is flexible, customisable, and secure. And you can’t forget – it can also save you money”. Through the adoption of SaaS, PaaS or IaaS (all tailorable to your needs), you can ensure your business is moving forward with the capacity for growth and innovation.
Thus, if your enterprise is yet to adopt any of these cloud-based services, then now may be the best time to make the infrastructure changes needed to utilise SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Our expert team can advise on and implement cloud services for your business, and as a Microsoft Gold Partner we also provide specialist services with relation to Microsoft Azure.
To find out more, or to begin formulating a cloud migration roadmap for your enterprise, contact one of our team today.