Is Infrastructure-as-a-Service Different from Software-as-a-Service?

by | Oct 25, 2018

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) are both cloud computing terms that involve software and other cloud-based technologies, and it can be difficult to understand what each is and how they are distinct. Therefore, we’re going to help you learn about IaaS and SaaS, including what they are, how they’re different, and when your organization might need them.

Understanding SaaS and Its Advantages

You’re probably already very familiar with cloud computing services that fall into the SaaS category, such as Gmail and Dropbox. The basic idea behind SaaS is that the software is a subscription-based application, but there’s no need to download or install any new programs onto your device because you access the application directly through a web browser.

A primary advantage of SaaS is that it relieves a huge burden from your IT department because there’s no need for your organization to install, manage, or upgrade software because a third-party vendor manages all those tasks. As such, software is cheaper to use and manage, freeing up more time for the IT department to focus on more important tasks.

IaaS Explained—and Its Benefits

IaaS is the foundation upon which you can build software, apps, and other cloud-based content. When you opt for IaaS, your IT department will be responsible for managing certain elements of the infrastructure, including application, operating system, and data management. However, IaaS still removes a significant burden from IT (compared to on-premises IT) because the IaaS provider will be responsible for both managing and maintaining storage, networks, servers, hard drives, and other physical aspects of the infrastructure.

One of the main benefits associated with IaaS is that it gives you access to many of the same capabilities and resources as a traditional data center, but without your IT department having to bear the full brunt of physically managing it. As such, IaaS is also a more affordable and scalable option versus the capital expenditure required to invest in an on-site data center.

Best Times to Use SaaS and IaaS

Determining whether SaaS is right for your organization isn’t really a question at all since you’re probably already using at least a few SaaS applications. Most organizations today use a mixture of SaaS and other IT models, and if you’re trying to decide between SaaS and IaaS for things like document management in the cloud, then here are some things to consider:

When to Use SaaS

SaaS is ideal for small businesses and start-ups that want to get started quickly without having to invest time or money into software ownership. It’s also suitable for short-term projects or projects that only require occasional use of certain applications. If your business needs to use software and applications but doesn’t need to build them, then SaaS is for you.

When to Use IaaS

IaaS is excellent for small companies and organizations that don’t want to take on the financial and time costs of hardware and software and any company that wants to purchase resources as needed. IaaS also gives you a great deal of control and flexibility, which is good for organizations that are growing quickly. If your organization needs to build software and other cloud-based applications, then IaaS is for you.

Imaging Office Systems Makes Cloud Computing a Breeze

You may be wondering, “What if I already own some of my own software but am looking for a way to reduce the burden on my IT department and forge stronger bonds between IT and business?” In that case, you can rely on Imaging Office Systems to take your existing set-up and transform it into a cloud-based ECM software. We’ll take the document management solutions you own and deploy and maintain it in a hosted environment that you can access at will. You will alleviate the pressure from IT to maintain, upgrade, and otherwise manage the software while also giving you access to the applications you already own, use, and love.

Infrastructure as a service and software as a service are both cloud computing technologies, but they serve different purposes and are better suited for organizations with varying goals. SaaS allows you to use and access software and applications quickly and easily using a web browser, whereas IaaS gives you the resources needed to build your own cloud-based products. However, if your goal is to gain easier access to the software you already own, then Imaging Office Systems can take your existing software and deploy it to the cloud for you.