SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS | Difference and Examples of SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS

What is SaaS?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a type of cloud computing service in which software applications are distributed over the internet and managed remotely.

Software as a Service is often used to refer to web applications, but can also include remote databases and desktop software.

Customers can access and use the software, typically through a web browser, while the provider manages the infrastructure and security. SaaS is one of the most popular models of software deployment and is used by businesses of all sizes.

It is a newer model of software that delivers software over the internet instead of through the traditional software installation process.

Examples of SaaS

SaaS, or software as a service, is a model of software deployment where a provider makes software available to customers over the internet.

Customers can access and use the software, typically through a web browser, while the provider manages the infrastructure and security.

SaaS is one of the most popular models of software deployment and is used by businesses of all sizes.

Examples of Saas are;

1. Google Apps

Google Apps is a productivity suite that consists of Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar and other applications hosted in the cloud.

The program allows people to create a single sign-on for accessing all their Google software.

Using SaaS has made it easier for businesses and individuals to work together using applications such as Google Docs, which allows users to create documents that can be shared with other users through the internet.

2. SalesForce

Salesforce is a CRM service that is used by companies around the world. Salesforce offers a wide array of features, which can be tailored to meet specific business needs.

The Salesforce CRM is marketed as more than a traditional customer relationship management system. Salesforce offers cloud-based solutions in marketing, sales and service.

3. NetSuite

NetSuite is a SaaS company that offers a full range of business management software services.

NetSuite is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that helps businesses manage customer accounts and leads, track orders and inventory, and provides financial reporting capabilities.

4.  Zoho

Zoho is a business software company that offers a wide range of business tools, including Zoho CRM, Zoho Writer and Zoho Meeting. Zoho CRM is a cloud-based enterprise social networking tool.

Users can create custom profiles for their customers, manufacturers and co-workers.

5. Asana

Asana is an online project management tool for teams with team members who work remotely or in different offices.

Asana offers project management features including time estimates, resource estimation, notes and files to share information.

6. HubSpot

HubSpot is a marketing automation service that allows users to manage web traffic, leads and sales activities.

The HubSpot CRM is a platform-as-a-service application that helps users manage contacts, schedule campaigns, analyze data and generate reports.

7. BambooHR

BambooHR is an online human resources management service that was designed for small businesses with up to 50 employees.

Users can create employee profiles and reports, payroll management and time tracking tools.

Benefits of SaaS:

1.      Low Maintenance

SaaS software is delivered to the customer and managed through a browser-based interface. The software provider provides minimal support for the product and can be reached by email.

It also allows access from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.

2. Easy-To-Manage

As the applications are hosted on servers within a network, they can be accessed using any web browser, making it very easy for users to see the status of their apps at all times.

3. Cost Effective

“Software as a Service” is very cost-effective because the cloud hosting service provider doesn’t have to invest in hardware or software and if greater processing power is needed, the provider can simply increase the number of servers available.

The customer can also scale back if necessary by lowering the number of user licenses purchased.

4. Upgrades/Updates

SaaS applications are designed for frequent upgrades and updates that provide new features for users. This also allows the application to be more quickly adapted to changing markets and customer needs.

5. Scalability

SaaS products can be easily scaled up or down in terms of the number of users that use them, or the amount of data they process. The input is typically self-sustaining and provides a steady flow of information back to the provider.

SaaS Advantages:

  1. SaaS is the easiest to implement and maintain because the infrastructure and security is managed by the provider, making all you need to do is configure, access and use the application.
  2. SaaS is the fastest deployment because it allows you to deploy on demand.
  3. SaaS is typically scalable, allowing for rapid growth as business demand.
  4. SaaS is easier to scale because it can be deployed on-demand and supported by a single-point-of-contact – typically the service provider’s own IT team with its best interests at heart.
  5. SaaS is normally more secure than other types of cloud because the provider can provide more consistent security policies and procedures.
  6. SaaS typically incurs lower costs at faster rates than other cloud options. This is because service providers generally have economies of scale, which enables them to offer services at lower rates or they may also be able to make money through application usage or extra services that they sell on top of standard delivery (like support contracts).
  7. SaaS providers often provide centralized data storage. This means data is backed up and centrally managed, which reduces the amount of complex management a business or organization needs to do.

SaaS Disadvantages:

  1. SaaS can be expensive for businesses looking for solutions that require scaling up over time.
  2. SaaS can require a high initial up-front cost because of the services offered by the service provider.
  3. SaaS can be complicated because you need to be able to access and use it over the internet.
  4. SaaS requires commitment: Without a long-term contract, you may find that you need to upgrade or purchase additional services from your provider at some point in the future if your needs change or grow – which can lead to higher annual costs or push down on cost per user (cost per employee).

What is PaaS?

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is an application hosting platform that provides developers with the ability to access a number of prebuilt functions without having to build from scratch.

It provides these functions by supplying a virtual machine that allows the developer to write his or her application directly in the programming language of their choice.


The developer controls most of the process with the visibility of what’s going on inside the cloud while maintaining control of the software itself.

Examples of PaaS

1. Google App Engine

Google App Engine is a PaaS that provides developers with tools to create applications. These tools include the ability to access a number of software libraries, hundreds of API calls and Google’s own Web Toolkit that helps developers build and deploy mobile applications.

2. is an online platform-as-a-service by that is used by sales and marketing professionals who want to build high-impact applications. includes several components, including the website builder, which lets users create and customize websites in HTML5.

The site builder also includes design tools and layout options that help users with webpage design.

3. JIRA Server

JIRA Server is a server-based PaaS for the issue tracking tool JIRA by Atlassian. JIRA Server is used by teams who want to perform bug tracking and software development tasks.

JIRA Server can be accessed through a web browser, allowing users to interact with their application at any time through a browser interface.

4. Facebook

Facebook is a social networking website that allows users to create a custom profile and to keep in touch with friends through status updates and by posting photos.

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking website that allows users to create a custom profile and network with other professionals.

Users can view the profiles of other professionals, keep in touch through email or instant messaging, or add co-workers as contacts.

6. Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging site that allows users to post 140 character messages about what’s happening in their lives – for example: “The #cubs won! #everyoneshappy” – which can be accessed by anyone using the site.

Benefits of PaaS:

1. Unlimited Storage

Platform as a service providers supply as much storage space as required. This can also be accessed by multiple users, unlike some traditional cloud hosting services that have limitations on the amount of data that can be stored.

2. Competitive Rates For Service

Because the provider does not need to maintain the servers, there is no cost for hardware and because the application is pre-built and managed, there is little to no maintenance required by the provider. The provider simply needs to scale up or down based on customer demand.

3. Fixed Costs

Platform as a service is cost effective because the provider manages the server and applications and takes care of all maintenance. The customer only has to pay for the number of virtual machines they use.

4. Scalability

The ability to scale up or down is an important benefit of platform as a service, as it allows companies to grow or reduce their presence on-line without purchasing additional hardware. This is also useful in seasonally busy periods because companies can rely on more processing power when needed.

PaaS Advantages

  1. PaaS lowers the risk of building an application because multiple developers can work on the same project at the same time.
  2. Developers can have access to a number of prebuilt functions that can help expedite software development.
  3. PaaS lowers the cost of development because users don’t need to spend time and money working with a third-party vendor or IT team to customize an application for their needs.
  4. Companies using PaaS can get new releases and upgrades quickly, which gives them the opportunity to test applications before they are released into the marketplace.

PaaS Disadvantages:

  1. One of the biggest issues with PaaS is security. Because application development is done on a third-party server, users need to make sure they have proper access control lists and other security measures in place.
  2. The next issue with PaaS is that it generally costs more to develop an application when using a PaaS platform. This is because you are paying for the services and features of the platform you are using rather than building your own environment from scratch.
  3. PaaS can be complicated to manage because you need to be able to access and use it over the internet.
  4. Most PaaS platforms do not include an application-monitoring solution that provides users with the ability to monitor application performance and troubleshoot issues as they occur.

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing service that allows users to rent virtualized hardware, software platforms and operating systems for their own private use.

It allows people to gain access to a greater amount of computer power and bandwidth than typically given with other cloud services.

Examples of IaaS

1. Amazon AWS

Amazon AWS is an IaaS service created by that allows users to utilize the infrastructure of Amazon to run their applications (e.g., web servers, databases, and other software).

Users can choose from a number of virtual machine sizes (from 1-50 instances) or they can create their own custom size instance with an unlimited number of virtual cores and memory.

Their applications are backed up in case a server fails and they are entirely managed by Amazon.

2. Box

Box is similar to Amazon in that it allows users to utilize the infrastructure of, a cloud computing provider created by offers a number of virtualized servers, programmatic APIs and an application development platform for storing and accessing data remotely through secure endpoints.

3. Gazelle

Gazelle is similar to Amazon in that it lets users rent virtualized servers, storage and processing power.

However, Gazelle is geared toward users who are interested in using a variety of custom software solutions for business purposes (e.g., accounting or human resources) or those who are interested in providing the infrastructure needed to run their own applications.

Gazelle offers a number of different plans depending on the user’s needs.

4. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft. It allows users to create virtual machines and virtual networks that can run on top of Microsoft’s own cloud server technology.

Microsoft Azure has a number of different plan levels for users who want to rent space for applications (e.g., web servers, databases, or other software) or storage capacity.

5. Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean is an IaaS provider that offers servers and virtual machines on a pay-as-you-go basis. Digital Ocean’s servers are powered by Linux and run on MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, Memcached, Solr (with Elasticsearch), Apache and nginx.

Users can create their own virtual network in Digital Ocean to provide the security they need for their applications.

Benefits of IaaS:

1. Resource Utilization

In addition to processing power, IaaS also provides bandwidth, network storage and other resources that can be utilized by the application. These resources can also be used by multiple users.

2. On-Demand Overages Are Available If Necessary

Virtualized hardware means that the application will have more resources available as more users are connected and during peak times when demand is high.

This benefit is especially useful for computer-based applications.

3. Regulatory Compliance

IaaS enables the use of custom hardware and software designed specifically for cloud hosting. As a result, companies will not have to worry about being bound by government regulations regarding hardware or software.

4. Flexible Billing Systems

Virtualized platforms are managed through a billing system that allows the provider to adjust costs according to the actual amount of data that is used by the application and how many users access it from outside the company.

IaaS can also be used to reduce the cost of cloud hosting by using less resources or by managing the devices remotely.

5. Cost Effective

The use of virtualized hardware and software ensures that there is little hardware maintenance required. Because the provider is not responsible for hardware upgrades, the cost of maintaining servers is significantly reduced.

Advantages of IaaS

  1. IaaS allows users to rent virtualized hardware, software platforms and operating systems in order to build applications.
  2. IaaS gives users the ability to scale their applications as needed, increasing their application’s availability and performance.
  3. IaaS eliminates the need for managing and maintaining virtual machines (VMs) yourself, allowing you to focus on building your app rather than on server management.
  4. IaaS lowers the cost of development because users only pay for the amount of services they use.
  5. IaaS increases the deployment speed of applications because users can access the server and storage resources they need quickly and easily.
  6. IaaS can decrease application downtime because it allows you to back up your application in case of failure.

Disadvantages of IaaS

  1. IaaS is more expensive than other services because you are paying for the infrastructure rather than for the use of that infrastructure.
  2. IaaS can leave users with no visibility into the operations and performance of their applications because you do not own your server.
  3. IaaS does not include monitoring software, which can be a problem if your application crashes.
  4. IaaS users generally have no control over the operating system or other software that their applications are running on.
  5. IaaS may not be a good fit for business apps that need to be highly available and cannot handle downtime. IaaS can leave such apps vulnerable because they are being hosted on someone else’s server and you do not own the technology they are using to run your app.





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