One of the most critical things to understand about cloud computing is that, as a concept, it’s far more malleable than a lot of people realize. There isn’t just one cloud computing service model for a business to take advantage of, there are many, each with their own distinct focus and solutions offerings.
If you really want to make sure that your business is taking advantage of everything that the cloud has to offer, there are a few key service model types you’ll want to consider.
4 Main Types of Cloud Computing Service Models
Let’s take a deeper dive into Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Business Process as Service (BPaaS).
The Ins and Outs of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Also commonly referred to as IaaS for short, this is considered by many to be one of the more commonly used tiers in terms of cloud computing service models. In an IaaS configuration, a service provider will host some or all of your virtual infrastructure in the cloud – meaning that everything from storage space to servers to networking assets and more may be delivered in an on-demand fashion over a network connection.
The cloud IaaS platform offers more freedom and flexibility in terms of configuration than you would have if you’d decided to keep everything in-house. There are more options related to compute resources – such as CPU, memory and storage – which can be added quickly and easily, as well as tools and products readily available. Depending on the vendor, pricing for IaaS cloud computing service models can either be fixed, vary month to month with usage, or operate on a sliding scale based on resource consumption.
You also avoid the massive up-front investment that is typically associated with an on-premise infrastructure solution. This eliminates expenditures related to the internal procurement process for hardware and ongoing labor, hardware and software maintenance costs. This also cuts budgets allocated to facilities, floor space, or the cost of a raised floor. Last but not least, most IaaS services are considered as an operational cost rather than a capital expenditure. This means that it can be calculated as an annual tax write off instead of depreciation.
The Power of Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Also referred to as PaaS, this essentially takes all the benefits of Infrastructure as a Service to the next level. All or some of your infrastructure assets are still delivered over an active network connection, but you also get hardware and software tools—usually those needed for application development. As a result, PaaS eliminates the expense of buying and managing software licenses or their foundational infrastructure. The company can manage the applications and services it develops, then the cloud service provider handles everything else.
The Simplicity of Software as a Service (SaaS)
This is a type of cloud computing service model that you may already be familiar with, even if you don’t necessarily realize it. Also usually shortened to SaaS, this is a type of service model where software is delivered on-demand over a network, typically the Internet. Rather than buying software outright, you’re essentially leasing access to it from your provider of choice. This, of course, unlocks a number of core benefits, essentially all at the same time.
For starters, pricing is usually determined based on the total number of users that you have and adding users is a simple process. You also don’t need to install or maintain the application yourself. Because access is available over the Internet, it’s essentially ready to go from the moment your service plan begins. More than that, you don’t have to worry about being proactive about software updates because all of those updates are typically performed by the software provider allowing your team access to the latest version of a particular application. Plus, a company’s IT techs can decrease the number of menial administrative tasks, like app maintenance, and can instead focus on projects that support business units.
The Brawn of Business Process as a Service (BPaaS)
Business Process as Service, also called BPaaS for short, is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a cloud computing service model that allows you to handle critical business processes that are also usually cross-functional within your organization. Payroll management would be an excellent example of this, although there are many others.
The key here is that BPaaS allows you to better coordinate and oversee services. IT manages automatic services (or even those that are somewhat manual in nature) that are spread out across several business applications, so long as those business applications are also hosted in the cloud. So, to continue with the example of payroll management, you may have one application that handles employee hours and another that handles the actual payroll process. BPaaS would allow you to better map and integrate your business processes, as well as the individual activities included in them.
Learn more about the Four Uses of Cloud Computing.
Which Cloud Computing Service Model is Right for You?
Whenever you’re talking about something as malleable as the cloud, the most important thing to understand is that there is no “one size fits all” approach. Not every cloud computing service model is going to be right for every business.
Don’t embrace the cloud just because you think you’re supposed to – do so because it helps you accomplish something you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Some organizations need the full functionality of BPaaS, whereas others benefit the most from a SaaS or IaaS solution. Still others may want a hybrid environment comprised of a combination of some of the above to complement their on-premise systems and “to get the best of all worlds”.
To get the most out of these service models, organizations must first define your goals and objectives and work your way back to the cloud computing service model that best supports them.
Outer Edge Technology: Your Partners in Cloud Innovation
For over a decade, Outer Edge Technology has been helping organizations just like yours design, build and manage cutting edge IaaS platforms and other solutions to tackle and overcome today’s top challenges. Contact us today to find out more information about the various cloud computing service models that are available to you at 1-844-OET-EDGE.