Cloud computing

Attention CPAs: Check Out These IT Acronyms You Should Probably Understand

October 31, 2019

The Internet has changed everything. It’s spawned a whole generational gap between the Millennials who grew up with their digital devices, and the Baby Boomers who used typewriters back in the day.

Not only has the ‘net affected our personal lives, but it’s obviously affected us professionally, changing our business workflows, and driving new consumer behaviors that change how we promote ourselves.

These are just some of the reasons why the relatively new digital landscape has been called the great disruptor, and these technologies are still evolving.

Nowhere is the landscape changing more rapidly than in the quest to develop new business models to capitalize on the Internet. There are three key business models that we’ll describe in this article: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Each of these acronyms signifies a business model that you can leverage for your company – and, in fact, you may already be doing so, but just aren’t familiar with the terms.

To find out more about the latest developments:



Characteristics of “As a Service” Models

As a service cloud computing models feature a number of standardized characteristics that make these models so appealing:

  • Self-service
  • Access from any digital device
  • Shared resources
  • Quick scalability
  • Subscription or measured service

These models allow even the smallest CPA firm to leverage cloud computing because they’re packaged in affordable monthly subscription packages. In the old days, to add services, you’d add equipment to your server room. This was always expensive and time-consuming. Now, you just sign up for the service (or add a new license), and you’re up and running in the cloud.

Now let’s break down these service categories.

Infrastructure as a Service – The Top Layer of the Internet

If you’re imagining how the Internet works, as the foundation, you’ll find IaaS models, which take the place of your computer hardware. For example, your office may currently have a server room. That computer (or computers) may run your email, or house other important office tools, including a firewall that helps protect your data. The IaaS model takes traditional on-premise equipment and puts it in the cloud. This means that the physical hardware in your office would instead be built virtually in the cloud. Your data and the office functions you had in-house would be stored at a remote data center.

Platform as a Service – The Great Integrator between SaaS and IaaS

In the middle, you’ll find PaaS, a layer of digital services housed on the Internet that serves as an integrator between functions. PaaS allows interoperability between databases, file storage, web servicers, and so on. It allows your IaaS provider to distribute data between their servers and helps create a seamless flow between multiple systems.

PaaS providers offer both virtual hardware and software tools that you can use to build applications. For example, you can use PaaS models to create and run your company website. Think of PaaS as the framework in which you build applications or run existing SaaS models, i.e., Google App Engine is a PaaS service that allows developers to build phone apps.

SaaS – Subscription Software for Your Business

Software as a Service takes computer applications that you use to run your business and puts them in the cloud. Remember the days of installing 15 discs on your computer? SaaS models require an Internet connection. So, instead of using office tools on your desktop, you dial into the cloud to connect. These applications can be accessed from any digital device.

SaaS models are really the bottom tier of cloud computing models and are usually built on top of an Internet platform as a service provider (see IaaS section). Some of the examples of SaaS could include basic office tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Salesforce, the customer relationship database.

Get a free assessment of how these models could help your business.

Still Confused – Call TOSS C3

Just because your computer equipment migrates to a virtual cloud, it does not mean that this isn’t a complicated architecture, whose security, maintenance and functions must be observed and controlled. That’s where Managed Service Providers (MSPs), like TOSS C3 come into play.



MSP is another acronym you need to know, but it just means you have a trusted IT advisor who manages your cloud-based functions. Managed service providers help mitigate any risk that’s causing you to still be concerned about cloud security. MSPs have software to monitor your cloud architecture. MSPs came about because small businesses can now take advantage of the services that big businesses have been using to stay one step ahead of the competition. But someone still needs to manage your IT infrastructure – both in the cloud and out. That’s where a Managed Service Provider can help. Request a quote on these services today.

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