On Cloud Nine: Saas vs Paas vs IPaaS

Just a decade ago, a cloud was just a word that didn’t relate to tech in any way. Today, cloud technologies enhance a wide variety of businesses’ operations and lead the digital transformation.

The adoption of cloud systems has become so widespread that we now witness a great number of cloud models. SaaS, PaaS, and others leave us the less on-premise infrastructure and shoulder off the responsibilities.

But how to differentiate between them and what is the most optimum model for your business? Let’s find out.


SaaS or cloud application services are the most comprehensive type of cloud configuration. It means that you’re provided with a full-fledged application without having to manage or download it.

Having your application as SaaS resembles the process of renting an apartment. You rent a fully furnished apartment with a fully-equipped kitchen, smart TV, and others. You live there, while the owner takes care of the maintenance and repairs.

The SaaS services are not the latest news. Have you heard of Outlook or Gmail? We had them back in the day even before everyone started migrating to the cloud.

Within this model, your provider will be responsible for:

  • the application itself;
  • Its runtimes;
  • security measures;
  • application databases;
  • server hardware maintenance;
  • storage units and networking.

The added value points of SaaS solutions include:

  • Reduced time to benefit – you get a ready-to-use application within mere hours after provisioning the server.
  • Lower upfront costs – you don’t have to splurge for licenses for cloud infrastructure.
  • Updates – the software hosted on the server can be updated centrally by providers.
  • High accessibility – a SaaS application can be easily accessed via a browser and an internet connection.
  • Scalability – SaaS solutions are scalable on-demand when your business needs them.

The most prominent examples of SaaS software include Salesforce, ZenDesk, MailChimp as well as HubSpot, and Microsoft Office 365.


PaaS is another popular form of cloud computing. It is a full-suite development and deployment cloud environment that enables you to provision any kind of application. Thus, its capacity augurs well both for simple cloud applications and advanced enterprises.

The Platform-as-a-Service model is designed to support the full life cycle of a web application from developing to updating.

This cloud model is a popular pick among programmers who collaborate on different projects. In this case, the whole team of developers gets remote access to a single development environment. Thus, they all have sufficient system resources as well as collaboration tools.

PaaS also eliminates the cost and hassle of purchasing and managing software licenses, underlying application infrastructure, middleware, and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider usually manages everything else.


Another as-a-service option is IaaS. In this case, end-users are offered IT infrastructure on-demand with fundamental compute, network, and storage resources.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service is the fundamental and most flexible building block for your business operations. Therefore, if you need to scale your tech capability without buying add-ons, IaaS is a great option.

If we compare paas vs iaas, the latter grants you greater control over your tech activities. Thus, the IaaS cloud provider takes over virtualization, servers, storage, and networking. The rest, including runtime and operating systems, is on you.

The main advantages of IaaS include:

  • Unified management system thanks to a single management interface;
  • On-demand services that are available 24/7;
  • Mutual compatibility, since the IaaS model supports any number of platforms, whether they are virtual, physical, or cloud-based;
  • Reduced costs, as you can eliminate the need for buying physical hardware, licenses, and maintenance.


Сloud databases have been gaining momentum over the last few years. DBaaS services are highly available, reliable, and easy to scale. Due to these qualities, cloud DBaaS is considered to be the best solution for storing mission-critical information.

Research and Markets predicts that the global DBaaS market will experience an exponential growth of over 62% in the coming years. Therefore, instead of investing heavily in hardware platforms, many companies tend to invest in services with fixed subscription fees.

Just like the SaaS option, the DBaaS configuration offers a hassle-free approach to accessing cloud services. The provider shoulders most administrative tasks, while you can focus on more mission-critical tasks.

Other benefits of  using DBaaS include:

  • It is a cost-effective option compared to expensive on-site database maintenance.
  • On-demand database provisioning reduces the time needed to process data.
  • Round-the-clock availability of DBaaS capabilities.
  • Enhanced security to prevent data leaks.
  • Cloud computing allows for continued enhancement of operations without decreasing productivity.

What To Choose For Your Business

Now that we’ve grasped the basics of cloud computing options, let’s see what makes a great fit for your company.


You might want to consider SaaS applications, when:

  • Your company is getting off the ground and is in need of a quick setup.
  • You are dealing with short-run projects that need a synchronized approach.
  • You need a complementary application such as financial reporting.


IaaS configuration is most suitable for:

  • Fledgling businesses that are looking to cut costs on buying and establishing hardware and software.
  • Larger businesses that are looking for greater control over applications at a cost-effective basis.
  • Fast-growing companies that want to scale specific hardware and software on demand.


PaaS adoption is justified when:

  • You have a team of multiple developers contributing to the same project.
  • You are looking to build customized applications and hand over some responsibilities to the vendor
  • Your application requires rapid development or deployment.

The Bottom Line

Companies of all sizes, geographies, and verticals are flocking to cloud services. And for a reason. Cloud computing comes with modern operational advantages, including reduced time to benefit and lower costs compared to traditional IT infrastructure.

Besides, cloud software facilitates the workflow of a synchronized team, thus making remote collaboration easier and more accessible than ever. If you haven’t yet tapped into the capabilities of as-a-software services, we now hope that this article has provided you with the main pointers. Whether it’s SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, make sure it meets your business needs.


TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team