Cloud vs. SaaS App: What’s the difference?

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Nobody will be surprised if in the nearest future even a child will use the terms Cloud SaaS (Software as a Service). They’ve already entered the lives of most business people. However, still, not everyone has a clear picture of SaaS meaning and the key differences the above-mentioned apps have. Both of them affect your interaction with technology. So, it is high time to discover what role SaaS in cloud computing has and what distinctive features and peculiarities both of them have.

What Is SaaS Web Apps?

The SaaS cloud computing model (Software as a Service) is a system for selling a software product, in which user access is provided via the Internet. That is, instead of buying and installing software on your computer locally, the service is available through the World Wide Web or, as they say, from the cloud.

The user of the SaaS system, who gets access to the application, as if rents it, paying a certain amount for a certain period of time. Due to this, such a solution is cost-effective. The user does not need to deal with the technical side of the issue: installation, support, updating, compatibility, and other issues – that is, he or she can only use the necessary functionality for the business purposes.

There are a lot of services on the basis of the SaaS (Software as a Service in cloud computing) today. Before using them, it is better to check the best tips on a SaaS development.

Let’s list the main parameters of SaaS, which distinguish it from standard software:

  • There is no need to purchase a license to use the product: instead, its rent is paid for a certain time. This may be a monthly payment or payment for the amount of data. Such services as support and the system upgrade are already included in the price.
  • One service can be used simultaneously by several clients. They can access it from different operating systems and browsers remotely from anywhere where there is an Internet connection.
  • If you don’t need to use the service anymore, you can simply not extend the payment for the service.

Here are some examples of SaaS that you could already use or probably know.

  • Corporate mail on Gmail, Yandex or other clients is perhaps the most massive and simple example of SaaS technology.
  • CRM and ERP – systems for project and resource management.
  • Online document management systems (same google docs), organizers, calendars are all also examples of SaaS, although many are free.
  • Website hosting services are also a prime example of SaaS.

This also includes online games as services built on the same model, although it is not customary to classify them as SaaS.

Benefits of SaaS

There is no need to install software on each computer – this is the main advantage of the model. It isn’t the only one. Check the list below to discover what benefits SaaS app development has.

  • Reducing the financial costs of purchasing a software product and its subsequent support.
  • From the developer’s side, such a model allows you to deal with the problem of piracy – the distribution of unlicensed copies of a software product since the final program does not fall into the hands of the user in the finished form.
  • Such systems, as a rule, are cross-platform and cross-browser, that is, they do not require a technically specific operating system or browser to work with the application.
  • Using SaaS allows you to not bind an employee to a workplace or computer: access to the application can be carried out from anywhere with Internet access.

The main part of SaaS users is small and medium business, for which the purchase of a ready-made software product and its subsequent support are quite expensive, so its rent is more profitable. In addition, such a system will be beneficial for companies with a wide network of offices or branches, between which there must be a constant data exchange, so even large companies may be interested in using SaaS technology.

What is Cloud Computing?

What is cloud-based software? Broadly speaking, cloud computing is a technology that provides access to data on the web. The cloud computing model should meet the following requirements:

  • Universality – the service should be provided to customers regardless of the model and architecture used to access the network.
  • Elasticity – the possibility of automatic expansion or contraction of the services provided.
  • Pooling resources – the ability to serve a greater number of customers with dynamic distribution of capacity depending on the demand for them.
  • Accounting consumption – an opportunity necessary to assess the volume of services provided.

There are four main models on which any cloud computing services are built:

  1. For a small number of users, for example, company employees.
  2. For representatives of various organizations that share common goals.
  3. For free use by any users.
  4. Hybrid infrastructure with signs of several cloud models.

Any cloud computing service is built on one of the following models:

  • Cloud-based SaaS — Consumer uses the system with the help of application software;
  • PaaS – the user can host the main software for the subsequent installation of the necessary applications;
  • IaaS – the consumer has the ability to independently manage certain resources, for example, operating systems, application and platform software.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Let’s have a closer look at the pros of cloud-based software.

  • Anyone from anywhere in the world can access cloud services. Employees are becoming more mobile. They can now work using any available device from anywhere in the world. A minimum amount of software is required to work with resources.
  • It is easy to increase the number of required computing resources (memory, processor power, etc.). For these purposes, there is no need to purchase new expensive equipment.
  • Low cost. Companies can reduce costs thanks to the following things: no need to buy licensed software; there are fewer requirements for the hardware of the users’ computers; virtual infrastructure does not require maintenance; only the actual computing power of the cloud is paid.
  • Cloud services guarantee a high degree of security and data integrity. User data is backed up, there are security and multi-level protection against hacker attacks.

Cloud computing is already quite actively used by all modern companies. Savings due to the use of these services ensures their widespread use, which will further reduce the cost.

SaaS vs Cloud

Now, you can see that such terms as Cloud vs. SaaS only seem to be similar. In reality, they have numerous distinctive features. The key difference between  SaaS Cloud is that users of the Cloud have more control over their data while the data at SaaS servers can be controlled by the provider.

As it has already been discussed above, SaaS vs. Cloud have their own advantages. SaaS apps are made for the final users. Cloud computing refers to the infrastructure you can rent. In general, SaaS is more suitable for smaller companies, which are in a search for cost-effective business solutions. It is perfect for startups. There are a lot of SaaS Startups That Became Successful. As for Cloud, it should be chosen by large companies, which need to have more control over confidential data.

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