CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT

SaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. IaaS: Know the Best Fit for Your Business

Sayantani Bhattacharya | October 13, 2021

SaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. IaaS
With the growth of modern technologies, businesses are harnessing the power of cloud computing. Cloud computing is a strategic approach that allows on-demand data computing services over the internet on a pay-as-per-use basis. The storing and accessing of data in the cloud is done from a remote data center. As a result, it regulates the investment in costly hardware for an on-premise setup.

“Cloud computing is an innovative way to run your business.”

- Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Salesforce.

According to the analysis report by the market intelligence firm ResearchandReport, the global cloud computing market size is projected to reach USD 1,251.09 billion by 2028, recording a CAGR of 19.1%. Amongst the different cloud computing models, the three most vital variants are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. This article describes the SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS strategies, their comparison to help you determine the best fit for your business. 


The Three Most Vital Cloud Strategies for 2022


But before we begin, let us quickly look upon the interesting statistics on SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS in cloud computing by Statista. It states that the global market size for SaaS is expected to reach 172 billion USD, whereas PaaS and IaaS will reach 101 billion USD and 122 billion USD, respectively, in 2022. Several small-scale, medium-sized, or large-scale enterprises are adopting cloud service models to meet digital transformation. As you plan your workload migration to the cloud, it is vital to understand the ideal strategic model for your business by knowing the details and the difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.


SaaS (Software as a Service)


SaaS offers on-demand, ready-to-use cloud-based applications to the end-users. It is hosted by a provider and is delivered via the internet on a pay-as-you-go subscription. SaaS applications integrate data from diverse storage locations of an enterprise. SaaS providers keep enhancing their products and ensure that their customers use its latest version every time. Some examples of SaaS platforms are Google Workspace, Dropbox, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx, etc.

Benefits of SaaS

Let us consider a real scenario to explain the advantages of adopting a SaaS computing strategy.

How the University of Sydney Leveraged SaaS (Dropbox) to integrate the processes?

The University of Sydney was facing challenges due to disintegration among its multi-data storage platforms. They needed a unified application that is scalable, user-friendly, and easily accessible across their ecosystem for accelerating their research process.The University of Sydney could securely store and connect data to accelerate the research process by leveraging Dropbox. After implementing Dropbox, the university could significantly establish collaboration between their staff and students and external alliances across the globe. Further, they could control the overhead training and infrastructure cost. Governance also became easy with Dropbox, allowing IT teams to utilize their productive time in other crucial tasks. The scalability and user-friendliness were the primary factors that motivated the university to adopt Dropbox.Referring to the above instance, we can infer that a SaaS model can regulate cost, save time, be user-friendly, and scale as per demand. Further, this model is easy to deploy and maintain that needs minimum focus by the company's technical department.

Drawbacks of SaaS

Every pro comes with a con, and SaaS models are no exceptions.
  • Performance Reliability: SaaS applications are dependent on the internet, and as a result, they might become inconsistent at times. The only way to avoid this is by investing in a stable and high-speed internet connection. Additionally, you can also use software performance management tools to check the performance of SaaS applications at regular intervals.
  • Data Security: Data Security is one of the crucial aspects of any organization. SaaS apps lack transparency and the ability to protect business-critical data. As a result, some enterprises dealing with confidential information are in two minds to switch to the software-as-a-service model.


PaaS (Platform as a Service)


PaaS model provides a ready-to-use cloud environment for creating, testing, and maintaining software applications. With the PaaS model, you don’t have to build and maintain the infrastructure required for your application. Examples of PaaS models are Windows Azure, LoadSpring, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos, OpenShift, etc.

Benefits of PaaS

“LoadSpring Cloud Platform is more agile and flexible than other available solutions. We provide cloud solutions to our vendors and partners who want their applications to be SaaS-enabled. Our speed, performance, and seamless integration make it the ideal platform to deploy their apps.”

- Stacey Witt, Chief Marketing Officer at LoadSpring (During an interview with Media 7)

With Stacy’s statement, we can sense how a PaaS model can be helpful for your organization. PaaS is ideal for many medium or large-scale businesses because it provides a ready-to-go solution. All you need is an IT support team to handle the data usage and software. However, with the PaaS model, you have control over the performance of your platform. 
Let us explain with an instance.

How Atos Used PaaS (LoadSpring) to Solve the Challenges Faced by Siemens?

At the Gas and Power division of globally recognized brand Siemens, the leaders started experiencing a sloth in their locally hosted P6 and wanted to improve the performance.As an IT support provider for Siemens, Atos assisted them in overcoming the scenario. It referred LoadSpring to assess their P6 cloud-hosting. After sequences of operations, the LoadSpring platform enabled P6 to run 10 times faster than the locally hosted version. This enhanced performance saved an hour per user per week. As a result, Siemens considered their workload migration to LoadSpring that helped them increase their project efficiency.

Drawbacks of PaaS

Here are some of the loopholes to consider while adopting PaaS.
  • Dependent on Third-Party Vendor: PaaS solutions are vendor-dependent. If you wish to change your existing PaaS model, you may face compatibility issues. It is primarily because all the vendors might not support the same framework to develop and run the applications.
  • Security Concerns:  A potential risk for your application’s back-end data and hosting code may arise because it is stored at the vendors’ site. You should cross-check and verify the security and compliance protocols with your vendor beforehand.


IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)


IaaS is one of the cloud computing models that provides virtual data centers to medium or large-scale enterprises. It includes the entire infrastructure to research and develop advanced technologies on the cloud. IaaS is a self-service model that hosts website and software solutions and performs data mining and analysis. Examples of popular IaaS models are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Cisco Metacloud, etc.

Benefits of IaaS

To understand the advantages of IaaS, let us consider a situation faced by the globally acclaimed OTT platform- Netflix.

How Netflix Depended on IaaS (AWS) For a Scalable and Reliable Infrastructure?

Netflix experienced a momentary surge in viewers and subscribers due to the extreme changes across the world. To accommodate this demand, it needed an infrastructure that could scale simultaneously. As a result, Netflix trusted AWS to help it modernize improved computation, storage, and infrastructure that allow the company to scale rapidly, function steadily, and match up to the capacity needs across the world.
Taking cues from the above example, we can deduce the benefits of using IaaS. IaaS cloud service model is highly scalable, easy to automate and deploy, flexible, and reliable. It also comes under the pay-as-you-go model and hence proves to be cost-efficient as well.

Drawbacks of IaaS

Here are some of the limitations of IaaS that you need to consider.
  • Train Your People: IaaS model will provide the complete infrastructure for your business, and you need to ensure the smooth running of all the operations. Hence, it becomes inevitable for your team to have thorough knowledge about the deployed model. Otherwise, you might have to face unnecessary hindrances.
  • Managing Downtime: Enterprises might encounter downtime with IaaS, restricting their access to operational data and applications. As a result, it might affect their process- efficiency for some time.


SaaS Vs PaaS Vs IaaS: A Comparative Study

 
Parameters SaaS PaaS IaaS
Full-Form Software as a Service Platform as a Service Infrastructure as a service
Operation It is a cloud-based model that unifies data on a single application and is available at a pay-as-you-go price. It needs the internet and a web browser to operate. It is a cloud-based service model available on a pay-as-you-go basis. It allows the developers to build, test, and maintain applications over the internet. It is a cloud-based, pay-as-you-go model for storage, networking, and virtualization services available over the internet.
User SaaS models are for the end-users. PaaS models are for application developers. aaS models are for the network/system engineers and architects.
Industry Fit for small/ medium/ large enterprises. Fit for medium/large enterprises. Fit for medium to large enterprises that have distributed infrastructure.
Technical Knowledge SaaS end-users don’t need any technical knowledge to operate the application. Technical knowledge is needed to work on the PaaS framework. Expert technical knowledge is mandatory to handle the IaaS framework.
Maintained by It is controlled and maintained by a third-party vendor. It is controlled and maintained by a third-party vendor. It is a self-service model controlled by enterprises. The service provider does the maintenance.
Examples Google Workspace, Dropbox, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx, etc. Windows Azure, LoadSpring, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos, OpenShift, etc. Amazon Web Services (AWS), DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, etc.


Which Cloud Strategy is Suitable for Your Business?


Each cloud model provides explicit features and functionalities. Knowing the difference between SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS will help you decide the deployment based on your requirement. If you want cloud-based software to make your operational process efficient, you have SaaS by your side! On the other hand, if you want a seamless platform to develop customized applications, you can select PaaS as the solution. Further, if your business demands you to control the entire infrastructure completely, the IaaS is the best fit for you.

Tips To Select the Right Cloud Strategy for Your Business

Selecting the right cloud strategy helps your business grow. Further, it gives you the upper hand to utilize your organizational data as per your requirement. However, it is crucial to understand your business demand before you leverage any cloud service models. Here are some tips to opt for the best suit:
  • Gain knowledge about the cloud and learn how it can benefit your business
  • Recognize the demand
  • Identify your end-goal and have a clear road-map
  • Set a budget and timeline
  • Define the target state of your cloud strategy
  • Assess the capacity and readiness of your IT Department
  • Be alert about the potential risk


Final Takeaway


SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS- Irrespective of which cloud service model you select, your decision to migrate the workloads to the cloud aligns your business goals with global technological advancement. Gartner says, “By 2022, up to 60% of enterprises would use cloud service through an external service provider, which is almost twice the percentage from 2018.” You can select the ideal cloud service that will cater to your problem statement and analyze which cloud service generates the most revenue for your business by referring to the advantages, limitations, and enterprise instances of the three vital cloud services for 2022, explained above.  


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS?

IaaS is a cloud-based model for services such as storage, networking, and virtualization. PaaS is a cloud platform with hardware and software tools to build an application. Finally, SaaS is a cloud-based application available via a third-party vendor.

Which out of IaaS, SaaS or PaaS is most beneficial for cloud computing?

All three service models have their features and areas of operation. It entirely depends on the enterprises to leverage the ideal service based on their business requirement.

Which cloud strategy (IaaS/SaaS/PaaS) generates the most revenue?

To determine which model can generate the most revenue for your business, you need to refer to its technology stack and choose the best model to make operations efficient by releasing the load on your workforce.

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Smarsh® delivers cloud-based archiving solutions for the information-driven enterprise. The Smarsh platform provides a unified compliance and e-discovery workflow across the entire range of digital communications, including email, public and enterprise social media, websites, instant messaging and mobile messaging. With Smarsh, you can search and review all of your content in one place, creating efficiency and peace of mind.

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