Cloud computing is here to stay — there’s simply no denying that fact. But what, exactly, do we mean when we say cloud computing? It’s not as arcane and esoteric as you might think. In fact, when you get right down to it, there are three main types of cloud computing. Here’s what they are, how they differ from one another, and which type might be the most appropriate for your business.
It’s All in the Service
Cloud computing is all about providing services to your business. To that end the “3 types of cloud computing” are really better described as three different types of cloud service provision. These are, in no particular order:
Software as a Service (SaaS): using software programs hosted on a remote server instead of having them installed on a local computer. Examples of this include Microsoft Office 365’s online features.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): used for developing software, cloud platform access provides rental space on a remote server and provides your business the ability to modify the software stored on that server space.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): the actual, physical servers that platforms and software run on. Companies can use IaaS to literally rent out entire servers, providing the ultimate in control without having to maintain hardware onsite.
Which Service Is Best For You?
There are a number of advantages to using any of these 3 types of cloud computing. What your company needs as far as its computing requirements will dictate what type of cloud computing technology is best for you. In most environments, SaaS is a highly popular choice for all but highly-invested tech companies that are involved in software or platform development. In fact, SaaS has the broadest appeal to the most variety of companies. Learn more about SaaS benefits.
If your business needs access to specific software across multiple workstations, SaaS is an ideal solution. Whether you have a large office, several satellite offices, have a number of workers who require application access while out in the field, or any combination of these, SaaS cloud computing provides your workforce that access, thanks to mobile connectivity. Scheduling appointments, submitting reports, keeping track of assignment progress — you name it, a SaaS solution can provide it.
More Advanced Cloud Computing Options
As mentioned above, the other 2 of the 3 types of cloud computing — PaaS and IaaS — don’t come into play nearly as often as SaaS solutions. That being said, if you are in a business sector that requires an extensive amount of control over a design and development platform, or even requires dedicated infrastructure to function, both PaaS and IaaS are attractive alternatives to managing platforms and infrastructure in-house.
Much like with SaaS cloud computing, both PaaS and IaaS offer major advantages in terms of remote access and collaboration. Additionally, the cost savings to not having to implement, manage, and maintain these systems locally makes these types of cloud computing services highly attractive to any company looking to control costs.
It’s true that no cloud computing service or platform is perfect, as one of their biggest disadvantages is loss of remote access during connectivity outages. However, when taken all together, any of the 3 types of cloud computing options offer considerable benefits to nearly any company.