Which Cloud Computing Model is Right for Your Business?

There are three different cloud computing models, each uniquely designed to meet the unique needs of businesses of all kinds.

Which Cloud Computing Model is Right for Your Business?

There are three different cloud computing models, each uniquely designed to meet the unique needs of businesses of all kinds. They are:

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS)
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Beyond the buzzwords and marketing jargon, cloud computing is carving out its niche as a stand-alone industry. Technavio forecasts that the global cloud computing market will be valued at $287.03 by 2024. Businesses are getting value and are willing to pay more for efficient cloud services. The big question is, how is this value distributed among the three models?

As technology advances and more businesses drive up demand for cloud computing services, it will be interesting to see which service models last and which ones do not. Let us find out more about cloud computing and how the commercial market is shaping its three service models.

Overview of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers your business convenient and ubiquitous on-demand access to IT services and infrastructure. Rather than invest thousands of dollars in hardware and software, you get IT resources, including applications, storage, networks, servers, and IT services, when your business needs it at a small fee.

Flexibility defines cloud services. It offers businesses the option of choosing specific services or tools that fit their needs and budget. Despite there being only three service models, selecting the right model for your business can still be tricky. Read on to learn more about the different cloud computing models.

What is Software as a Service?

In simple terms, Software as a Service provides software applications over the internet. These software tools may be created by third parties and hosted by the service provider or offered directly by the software vendor.

SaaS is a modern solution to the high cost of software and initial costs of infrastructure, configuration, network security, and other network security. The responsibility for ensuring that software is secure, up-to-date, and always running efficiently is on the service provider.

Billing is one of the most attractive features of SaaS. Service providers typically charge businesses based on the nature of software, the number of users, the amount of data stored, and usage time. Some providers charge a flat fee for a specific software or offer ‘packages’ of features and capabilities with the software.

Software as a Service is the most popular cloud computing model today. Projections published on Statista value the global SaaS market at US$123 billion in 2021.

Examples of SaaS Products

Here are some examples of SaaS products in the market:

  • Google apps
  • Salesforce
  • Dropbox
  • ZenDesk
  • Slack
  • Hubspot
  • BigCommerce

What is Platform as a Service?

Platform as a Service is a cloud computing model that offers applications and development platforms to businesses using virtualization technologies. The platform may be a dedicated or shared system processing power, memory, storage, and software for application development.

PaaS offers your business a framework on which you can build upon and create tailor-made applications. Since the service provider manages storage, networks, and software, you do not have to worry about downtime or operational issues. With a bit of investment, you can design and create applications using the special components offered by the PaaS service. Your business can develop robust and easy-to-use applications and quickly deploy them with minimal coding. These apps, often referred to as middleware, are made to take on most cloud computing characteristics, including high scalability and flexibility.

Examples of PaaS

The best examples of PaaS for businesses are:

  • Windows Azure
  • Google App Engine
  • OpenShift
  • Heroku
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • Apache Stratos

What is Infrastructure as a Service?

As the name hints, Infrastructure as a Service offers businesses IT infrastructure such as networks, services, and storage facilities on-demand over the internet. There are standardized infrastructural offerings offered based on the capacity requirements of a business. Typical IaaS products are offered on a pay-as-you basis, making it easy for companies to pay for what they use when they use them.

The most notable benefit of SaaS is that it enables businesses to shrink and scale their IT resources on an as-needed basis. This eliminates the need to invest a lot of money in up-front capital expenditure on infrastructure the business will own. IaaS offers businesses the lowest-level control of IT resources in the cloud.

Of the three models of cloud computing, IaaS is the newest. It emerged and became popular over a decade ago as internet penetration rates increased and virtualization technologies evolved. This product model took off with the introduction of serverless and container computing, which also spurred the rise of microservices app patterns.

Examples of IaaS

  • DigitalOcean
  • Cisco Metacloud
  • Rackspace
  • Linode

Which Cloud Computing Model is Right for Your Business?

Today, most businesses do not need an internal IT department to install, manage, and upgrade software. They do not need a team of employees to manage the network, provide IT support to staff, or ensure the network runs efficiently. All these tasks are best handled by a third-party IT specialist company that will also contribute to the strategic planning of the company’s IT department.

Your business would need SaaS if you are trying to avoid the high costs of software and instead prefer to pay on a subscription basis. For larger companies looking to develop their own tools and software, PaaS is a better and more robust alternative. If you want to build on virtualization technology and need enterprise-level services resources, you may want to look into IaaS.

Final Thoughts

There are so many cloud computing services on offer in the market today. It is understandable for an entrepreneur to get lost in all the offerings and options. The best starting point is to analyze the specific needs of your business, then start hunting for cloud services that best meet those needs.

A better approach would be to talk to an expert and get professional advice on which cloud computing model to try. CentrePoint IT guides businesses to understand what sets the models apart to help them find the most effective and affordable services and infrastructure for their businesses. Contact CenterPoint IT today to learn more about cloud computing and how it can benefit your business.

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