Difference between Cloud Computing and SAAS

Cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) are two concepts that are frequently used in current technology and software delivery. While they are connected and have some similarities, they correspond to separate concepts in the field of information technology services.

Understanding the difference between cloud computing and SaaS is essential for individuals and businesses trying to effectively exploit these technologies. Read this article to find out more about Cloud Computing and SaaS and how they are different from each other.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a general term that refers to a variety of services and resources that are offered over the internet. It refers to the availability of computing power, storage, and applications on demand without the requirement for on-premises infrastructure. Instead of owning and managing physical servers, organizations can access and use these resources via the internet by utilizing remote data centers.

Here are some key aspects of Cloud Computing −

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) − IaaS is a service that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet. Pay-as-you-go virtual computers, storage, and networking components are available to users. This allows enterprises to avoid the capital outlay of owning physical hardware and grow their infrastructure in response to demand.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) − PaaS is a more advanced service that includes a platform on which developers may build, deploy, and manage applications. PaaS products frequently contain development tools, databases, middleware, and operating systems, which simplify development and abstract the underlying infrastructure.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) − SaaS (software as a service) is a software delivery model in which applications are hosted and made available to users over the Internet. Users can use web browsers to access the software, and the provider handles maintenance, upgrades, and security. Email services, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and productivity suites are common examples of SaaS applications.

  • Public Cloud − Third-party cloud service providers own and run public clouds, which give computer resources to the general public over the internet. These services are open to anyone who is prepared to pay for them, and users use the same underlying infrastructure as other organizations. Public clouds are both affordable and scalable.

  • Hybrid Cloud − Hybrid clouds integrate public and private cloud elements. To address their computing demands, businesses use a combination of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud resources, and public cloud services. Businesses can preserve some control over essential data while gaining the benefits of public cloud services using hybrid cloud solutions.

Key Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing differentiates itself from traditional IT infrastructure by many fundamental characteristics −

  • On-Demand Self-Service − Users can provide and manage computing resources without requiring the service provider's intervention.

  • Broad Network Access − Cloud services are available over the internet using conventional protocols, allowing access from a variety of devices and locations.

  • Resource Pooling − Cloud providers offer numerous customers a shared pool of resources, resulting in better utilization and cost savings.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing provides various benefits to both enterprises and individuals.

  • Cost Savings − Organizations can avoid upfront hardware capital expenses by just paying for the resources they use.

  • Scalability − Companies may simply grow their infrastructure and apps to meet shifting demands.

  • Flexibility − Cloud resources can be accessed from any location or device with an internet connection.

  • Reliability − Cloud companies often provide comprehensive data backup, disaster recovery, and high availability, which improves service reliability.

What is SAAS?

SaaS is a subset of cloud computing that focuses on software delivery. It refers to the practice of subscribing to software applications delivered over the internet. Users access and utilize software through a web browser rather than installing and maintaining software on individual computers.

Key Aspects of SAAS

Here are some key aspects of SAAS −

  • Architecture and Delivery − The service provider centrally hosts SaaS applications on cloud servers. The software is accessed through a web browser, eliminating the requirement for users to install and operate the applications on their local devices. The service provider maintains all parts of the application, including maintenance, updates, and security, releasing users from these duties.

  • Multi-Tenancy − Multi-tenancy is one of the distinguishing features of SaaS. This means that numerous customers, or tenants, are sharing the same instance of software on the provider's infrastructure. The data of each customer is logically isolated and securely separated, ensuring privacy and data integrity.

  • Security and Data Privacy − Since users put their data on the provider's infrastructure, security is an important feature of SaaS. To protect client data from unauthorized access and cyber threats, reputable SaaS providers use comprehensive security measures such as data encryption, firewalls, access controls, and frequent security audits.

Benefits of SAAS

SaaS provides various advantages that helped in its widespread adoption, including −

  • Accessibility − SaaS apps can be accessed from any location with an internet connection and any device, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This level of accessibility boosts productivity and allows remote work.

  • Automatic Updates − The service provider is responsible for software updates and maintenance. Without any manual intervention, users always get access to the most recent version of the software.

  • Scalability − SaaS applications are designed to easily scale in response to customer demand. As their user base and computing requirements develop, organizations may easily alter their membership levels.

Difference between Cloud Computing and SAAS

The following table highlights the major differences between Cloud Computing and SAAS −


Cloud Computing



Scalability varies depending on the service model; IaaS and PaaS offer more control over scaling resources.

SaaS applications are designed to scale effortlessly based on user demand.


Accessible through the internet from various devices and locations.

Accessed through a web browser from any internet-connected device.


More flexibility for customization in IaaS and PaaS; users have more control over the software stack.

Customization options might be limited in SaaS due to the shared nature of the application.

Resource Management

Users have more control and responsibility for managing resources in IaaS and PaaS.

Resource management is entirely handled by the SaaS provider.

Service Models

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

SaaS (Software as a Service).

Application Delivery

Users need to manage and deploy their applications on IaaS and PaaS.

Applications are centrally hosted and managed by the SaaS provider.

Deployment Models

Public, Private, Hybrid, Multi-Cloud.

Typically delivered as a Public or Private SaaS.

Billing Model

Pay-as-you-go based on resource usage for IaaS and PaaS.

Typically, SaaS operates on a subscription-based model; users pay recurring fees for access to the software.


AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure, Google Cloud Platform.

Salesforce, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).


In conclusion, cloud computing is the overarching concept that incorporates the delivery of diverse IT resources over the internet, whereas SaaS is a specific model within cloud computing centered on software delivery.

Cloud computing includes services such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), which provide different levels of control and management to users. SaaS is all about accessing and using software applications through the internet without the need for local installations.

Updated on: 17-Aug-2023


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