SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. What’s the difference?

Ring Central Blog


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6 min read

Three common terms in tech these days are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These are all similar terms in the sense that they are technological tools that can be used remotely to achieve business goals.

Softwares, platforms, and infrastructures had to be previously accessed in an organization’s premises because they were built into the hardware of those businesses. Now, people can access them from any location with internet connection.

What Is SaaS, and What Are Its Benefits?

SaaS is software that can be accessed from anywhere rather than simply in an organization’s premises, which is how it used to be. The technology has a number of benefits over its on-premise alternative, including the following:

Best SaaS Options Today

Users can access different types of popular SaaS that either charge a monthly fee, another subscription fee, or are entirely free. These range from communications tools to analytics software, customer relationship management applications, and more.

Here are four major SaaS offerings in the market today:

What Is IaaS and What Are Its Benefits?

Infrastructure as a Service is also done over the internet but differs from SaaS because it’s a more comprehensive online infrastructure where an organization can develop its own software. Instead of buying physical servers and more infrastructure, IT professionals can use a remote infrastructure as a rental, and create everything from websites to online applications and operating systems.

Here are some of the benefits of IaaS:

Biggest IaaS Offerings Today

Here are some of the most common IaaS options enterprises can choose from right now:

What Is PaaS and What Are Its Benefits?

There is a type of cloud computing known as Platform as a Service, which is shortened as PaaS. With PaaS, businesses can remotely, build, run, and manage applications without having to develop and maintain the infrastructure that is usually needed for such technology. In this sense, it differs from IaaS, while also differing from SaaS because it is a platform rather than an actual piece of software.

Here are some of its benefits:

Top PaaS Providers Today

Here are three of the biggest PaaS in use today:

There are plenty of other options for PaaS solutions companies can explore.

The Bottom Line With SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS

Choosing between SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS is simple–it really depends on what a company’s needs are. SaaS are fully-formed pieces of software that can to improve businesses either through accounting tools, messaging applications, spreadsheets, or something else.

Meanwhile, IaaS are infrastructures that can be used remotely developing, building, and maintaining applications at an affordable cost. They are easy to use, and very scalable. PaaS are similar but don’t require an infrastructure for making apps. The technology already comes equipped with the tools needed to build software without having to maintain the infrastructure that often comes with it.

Originally published Jan 06, 2020, updated Sep 10, 2021

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