The usage of cloud computing in IT departments of businesses has seen significant growth in recent years, and it continues to do so. Before we go into the relation of cloud computing to SaaS, understanding the nature and working of cloud computing is very important.
Cloud computing basically comprises the on-demand availability of computer system resources such as storage, databases, analytics, intelligence, and software, among others. Before the advent and usage of cloud computing, users had to locally install the system resources where they had to work with them. In addition to the installation, the maintenance of the working environment is also the users’ responsibility.
On the other hand, cloud computing allows users to gain access to all these services by providing data centers to users over the internet on . There is no need for local installation, and management of the system servers is done by a third party, aka the cloud services provider. This approach to IT greatly increases the ease and efficiency of software applications, data storage, and other system resources.
Components of Cloud Computing:
The cloud computing offers an environment, that comprises three main components: Infrastructure as a service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. These three make up the backbone of cloud computing, providing different categories of computing resources that users can access over the internet anywhere or anytime. Here we focus on the SaaS model of cloud computing.
Development of SaaS related to cloud computing – Software as a Service:
SaaS is basically a cloud-based software distribution model that provides software services and hosts applications on-demand to the user by internet. It is one of the primary constituents of the cloud computing environment and is seen as the readiest to use but least flexible out of all because most of its maintenance is handled by the service providers.
Unlike traditional software applications, SaaS does not require the software to be installed on the device; rather, users can access it on any web browser on any device as long as they have the necessary identification. Some famous SaaS include amazon web services, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce, Dropbox, and google apps.
Advantages and Disadvantages of SaaS:
SaaS is rapidly growing in popularity due to the wide range of advantages it offers over traditional software applications. SaaS requires no data centers or data storage of own because these applications and services are deployed and managed by the service providers themselves. Also, users can access computing resources from any location or any time, eliminating the hectic need to install software on each working system (e.g. desktop computer).
The SaaS model is very cost-friendly, especially for small businesses, because there is no need for them to set up their own software applications, data storage, and data centers (usually subscription basis).
The only disadvantage of the SaaS model is the private data of the user is in the hands of a third party. This disadvantage, however, is not so significant compared to all the benefits SaaS offers to its users.
SaaS as a component of cloud computing:
The primary purpose of cloud computing is to provide ease and accessibility to the users so they can focus on their own work while the cloud computing service providers maintain all the other work that is unwanted by user-to themselves.
Cloud services try to provide a complete environment to the user for this purpose which is why they provide a platform as a service so the users can access the required platform on the internet without installation, updating your software, or any other unwanted work. Similarly, infrastructure as a service tries to provide a whole data center without having to physically set up one.
Among these cloud services, software applications are also very necessary for the IT department of any company or for any individual user and as the main motive behind cloud computing is removing the need for physical installation, providing software application by the remote data center is crucial for cloud computing.
Private, Public, and Hybrid Models of SaaS:
Business organizations can employ different forms of SaaS cloud services, namely ranging from public cloud to hybrid cloud to private cloud. Public cloud is the cheapest option and is managed directly by the third-party service provider, while private cloud is exclusively used and directly managed by the organization itself and so is more flexible and scalable. Hybrid cloud services are in between the above-mentioned two models and provides a private cloud inside a public cloud hosting service. Amazon web services and Microsoft azure fall into this category of SaaS.
Most of the business organizations (according to research, more than 88%) are adopting hybrid cloud services because of their increased flexibility and control over the important data (store data) while staying free out of the hectic and unwanted work of installing and managing the software applications. It enables the organization to run host applications in private or public cloud depending on where they work better and cost-effectively. In short hybrid model of SaaS and cloud computing is optimum for SaaS applications.
Importance of SaaS in cloud computing:
Software applications are some of the most widely used tools by individual users and by organizations alike. The most important component of shifting from a traditional IT environment to cloud computing would be the SaaS application. From the really basic tools like Canva to more complex and advanced like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, SaaS and cloud computing allows user to run host application without installation, updating or using their own server’s storage. Running applications on remote server storage allows for better data storage and management.
The advantages of SaaS and cloud computing over traditional computing have completely changed the landscape of IT. A huge shift from the former to the latter can be observed among users and businesses alike. Running applications on the cloud is the most important component of cloud computing, which is the basis of the SaaS model of software and applications distribution. Therefore, SaaS is the backbone of cloud computing.