The Difference Between Cloud Computing and SaaS

June 15, 2017

When you’re in a seminar, the instructor usually reminds the audience that there are no stupid questions. But some of us still might be afraid to ask. Maybe you still haven’t figured out a term or an acronym that it seems like everyone is using — you missed the memo – and are kind of ashamed to admit it.

Take, for example, “cloud” and “SaaS.” Overnight it seems like everyone started using the words, but the definitions were just assumed as part of our digital culture. Now “cloud” and “SaaS” are used so frequently that they’re almost clichés, but we know some of you may not understand the difference between the two.

No worries, TOSS C3 is here to help.

What’s a Cloud?

The cloud is simply a slang for the Internet. You’re on it right now. The Internet is a series of interconnecting digital networks with a standardized set of communication protocols. The “www” at the front of your website means World Wide Web or the hardware and software links that are “in the cloud.”

You’ll see “cloud” appearing in a lot of phrases like “cloud computing.” Before the Internet, computer servers were installed on premises at a business. You’d see a room or rooms with rows of computer banks that would provide your email or the software you’d use to conduct business. Today, while you can still have on-site servers, we often rely on remote companies to provide this equipment.

You can link with these services through the cloud in order to use off-site computer networks, data storage, servers, and applications. This is a shared service; you’ll be using these computer networks with other businesses that want on-demand access without the high cost of buying and maintaining their own hardware.

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Cloud service providers are the vendors that provide these applications. Some examples of cloud service providers include:

Cloud service providers are the backbone of the Internet. They provide access to computer networks, infrastructures, and all the hardware you could possibly ask for. So, instead of setting up your own on-site computer room, you’re dialing through the Internet to access the hardware that these cloud service providers maintain.

What does SaaS Mean?

Then there is software as a service (SaaS). This uses the same shared services model but offers a software application for your use. In the old days, you’d have to buy software on a disc and install it on your computer. Now, you can dial through the Internet and access a plethora of free and subscription software tools. That’s the definition of Saas; it’s a licensing model that allows you access to a computer program by dialing through the Internet. There are thousands of these software applications out there, including:

It’s very likely you are running SaaS at your business today. The benefits are that an external vendor has the responsibility of maintaining the application.

Cloud Service Providers Provide SaaS

Companies like TOSS C3 help businesses maintain the new model of cloud-based computing.

You can find out more about TOSS C3 if you
download the white paper: Managed IT Services For Small Businesses. Check it out and then request a quote!


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