SaaS vs Cloud Computing: What’s the Difference?

Written By
Rakhi Sethi
Last updated at July 25, 2022
SaaS vs Cloud Computing: What’s the Difference?

Nowadays, the IT industry is being rocked by two terms "Cloud Computing" and "SaaS”. The discussion between SaaS and cloud computing begins when you look, analyse, and compare different technologies to execute your organisation's daily operations. 


SaaS stands for software as a service and is a cloud-based solution. On the other hand, cloud computing is a centralised model that enables on-demand network access to disseminated computer resources. The cloud includes three primary service models, and SaaS is one of them. 


So what precisely separates SaaS from cloud computing? And which technology you should use between these two for your project? Read this entire article to get answers to these questions. 


What is Cloud Computing?


Today, technologies are growing their needs, and people dislike slow apps; thus, cloud computing has become helpful in this situation. 


However, cloud computing is not a recent invention nor an industry that has just begun to develop. It has long since gained widespread acceptance. Whether or not you know about it, you utilise this technology daily. 


Hence, in simple words, we can say that cloud computing is the delivery of computing services such as servers, databases, storage, software, intelligence etc., over the internet or cloud. 


In this solution, you usually spend only on those cloud services you employ. So, you can lower your functioning prices, drive your infrastructure more quickly and raise your business. 


Multiple well-known applications are cloud-based such as Trello, Slack, NetSuite, Nerds Support Cloud, and Mailchimp.


what is cloud computing?


Types of Cloud Computing


Not all clouds are identical, and not one kind of cloud computing is suitable for everyone. Thus, first, you need to determine the type of cloud computing architecture that best fit your business requirements. Learn more about the three different ways to deploy cloud services-


Public Cloud


Public clouds are operated by third-party providers, which supply resources like servers and storage over the cloud. 


A cloud provider manages all hardware, software and other helping infrastructures in a public cloud. You will be able to access these services using a web browser. Microsoft Azure is a famous example of a public cloud.


Private Cloud


A private cloud is a computing service used solely by a single business means it operates on a private network. A private cloud is physically placed on the firm’s on-site data centre. Some organisations also expend on third-party service providers to host their private cloud. 


Hybrid Cloud


Hybrid clouds incorporate public and private clouds. These two clouds can be bound together by technology and allow data sharing. Thus, a hybrid cloud offers your business higher flexibility and deployment options by enabling data and applications to transfer between private and public clouds. 


cloud computing architecture


What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?


Software as a service is created especially for business use. It’s a helpful method to operate business software and services from any internet association. SaaS is one of the numerous kinds of cloud computing solutions.


You can host this software on your systems, and you don’t need to install or maintain any software on your gadget; you can use it anytime by logging into your account. For example, when you use Google Docs and Dropbox, you don't need to install them to work.


Small businesses frequently use SaaS solutions since they are not demanded to handle their servers and the expenses and have limited IT attendants. 


A Quick Comparison Between SaaS and Cloud Computing



Cloud Computing

  • SaaS is a complete application, not a method of creating an application.
  • Internet-based computer services are delivered through cloud computing.
  • One of the most critical deliverables in the SaaS model is the ‘packaged cloud’. This model includes several utilities like HR, CRM, etc., which are required for every organisation. 

For example, collaborative software concentrates on joint actions like web conferencing, centralised documentation, emails, messaging, etc.

Further, management tools help in the development process, monitoring, testing, etc.

Cloud computing has the following solutions-


  • Public cloud - which helps multiple clients to use the same shared infrastructure.
  • Private cloud - used by only one user or organisation according to their specific needs. 
  • Hybrid cloud - a complex cloud that joins public and private clouds. For example, confidential data of any organization stored in a private cloud and general data on the public cloud.

Today, SaaS is widespread across many industry sectors. Here are some examples of frequently used SaaS applications:

  • Communication handling
  • Customer assistance
  • Talent Direction
  • Ecommerce
  • CRM
  • Procurement management 
  • Software development
  • Finance and accounting
  • Business intelligence
  • Analytics
  • QA testing
  • Budgeting
  • Administration & compliance
  • ERP

There is a collection of cloud applications that are created in all business sectors; here are some of the most prevalent ones:

  • Image editing software
  • Digital video editing software
  • Online file repository
  • Twitter-related solutions
  • Making image-album
  • Web app for antivirus
  • Word processing tool 
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentation solution
  • Seeing a route on the map
  • E-commerce solution
  • Various other applications


  • Deceased up-front costs 
  • Fast to set up & deployment
  • Manageable upgradations
  • Accessibility
  • Convertible 


  • Shortage of control
  • Security & information protection problem
  • Restricted range of applications
  • Connectivity necessities 
  • Performance problem


  • Cost effective
  • Increased speed
  • Dependability
  • Cooperation
  • Fast & effortless development
  • Integration in automation
  • Data backup structure
  • API permit
  • Multi-occupancy
  • Brief and helpful virtualization
  • Location and device freedom


  • Performance might differ
  • Technical problems
  • Protection thread
  • Downtime
  • Internet connectivity issue
  • Decreased bandwidth
  • Lack of assistance


Cloud or SaaS: Tips for Choosing Between Them for Your Project


Now that you know the distinctions between SaaS and cloud computing, let's determine which delivery model best fits your needs and what considerations you should make.


Assess Your Budget


Before selecting SaaS and cloud; you should estimate the budget you plan to devour. Generally, SaaS is an expensive option, and it is sometimes cheaper to generate your custom app and save it on a cloud. So if you have a limited budget, you can select cloud service. 


Specify Your Release Time to Market


To be current and competitive in today's IT-driven environment; you must launch projects as soon as possible. While cloud computing doesn't speed up your project development, the SaaS alternative can replace one or even many software modules, thus increasing your chances of releasing ahead of the competition.


Decide on Flexibility Needs


Suppose you own an IoT or Big Data project. It is frequently difficult to predict the data you will ultimately use. Until you begin scaling, SaaS data management solutions for the SQL platform will do you well. This solution becomes less acceptable as your dataset becomes more diversified.


Bottom Line


You are now aware of the distinctions between cloud computing and SaaS. These deployment strategies have some crucial differences despite being comparable. Because of this, cloud computing and SaaS are each ideal in one scenario but unhelpful in another. 

Fortunately, you now know how to use them effectively for your business. Further, if you are looking to launch SaaS or cloud-based startup, contact Noetic today. We will stand at each step of your way and help to change your idea into a business.

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