SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS: Difference, Definition & Examples

Want to know about SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS?

If yes then you are in the right place.

When our technology advances, we usually develop new business models to do more tasks & simplify our workflow.

But many of these businesses turn to choose Cloud Computing services which makes managing and accessing data storage very easy.

And the example of these services are IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

Although each service has its own differences, but many companies use them to improve their functionalities and workflow.

Moreover, these cloud computing services also help businesses to provide flexibility & to grow in this ever-evolving world.

So let’s see how these services helps.

Difference between SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS & What are these Services [Diagram]

But before we dive in further…

Let’s quickly understand these services with the help of this diagram.

Difference between SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS Diagram

Image Credit: TMS-Outsource

As you can see the whole cloud computing concept is divided into 3 categories which include SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. And all these services operate on different layers which include application, data, virtualization, storage, servers, networking, etc.

And the above diagram also shows on which layers the users and the host operates which makes it possible to use these services remotely with the help of the internet.

So, let’s move further & get more info about these services.

What is SaaS?

What is SaaS

Definition: Software as a Service (SaaS) is a service that provides access to users to several online applications through the internet via a third-party vendor. Like G Suite, Dropbox, and Microsoft Office 365.

The vendors typically manage and upgrade the applications to deliver the services that user needs for daily operations.

When companies incorporate SaaS business models, they don’t have to download or install the software on their operating system. As they easily access them using a web browser with a stable internet connection. Another benefit of using SaaS is that all the applications are compatible with desktop and mobile devices.

General Use of SaaS (Software as a Service)

Many businesses use SaaS for short term projects and for accessing applications they don’t use all the time such as financial management or billing.

In a very short period of time, SaaS has gained so much popularity within online sales, digital marketing and also widely used as document processors or web scraping and data extraction techniques.

Unique Use Case of SaaS Within Sales

The sales and marketing use case is of unique interest because SaaS has increased the capacity for online businesses & freelancers and has also given access to low-cost outsourced tools for online businesses.

SaaS has also allowed corporate sales and marketing firms to turn their operations remote, which has helped the businesses to survive in this global pandemic COVID-19. For SaaS businesses that focus on the cold email marketing list scrubbing to software focused on outbound sales and lead generation, this has produced startling growth for thousands of digital businesses.

Now let’s move to the next service…

What is PaaS?

What is PaaS

Definition: Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a service that allows developers to build and customize apps or software according to their convenience which helps them to reduce coding time during development. Like Windows Azure, Google App Engine, etc.

Unlike SaaS models which target the end-users, PaaS models typically target software engineers and developers. PaaS providers give companies the framework and then the companies build the applications according to their requirements.

After building and developing their software, companies contact PaaS service provides or cloud deployment services to manage those software or apps & also their infrastructure, updates, and operation.

General Use of PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Some businesses might use PaaS to analyze data to detect patterns and predict outcomes for their business plans. Examples of companies that manage the data for their client’s software include AWS Elastic, Code Capsules, etc.

Another example of a use case businesses might perform is developing microservices for specific tasks, such as implementing push notifications when placing orders and notifying real-time updates to users.

What is IaaS?

What is IaaS

Definition: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a service that provides businesses with the resources for accessing servers & infrastructures without using the physical hardware, typically through a virtual outlet such as a dashboard or API (Application Programming Interface). Like VM Ware, Amazon Web Services (AWS), etc.

Unlike other cloud computing services, IaaS gives businesses direct access to specific components of infrastructure functionality. Users typically manage applications, middleware, and data. In contrast, IaaS providers manage networks, hard drives, networking, and storage.

General Use of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

Some use cases businesses might conduct when implementing IaaS include planning backup or recovery systems for data storage and cutting costs for website hosting. They might also use it to implement automation to reduce human activity for specific digital functions and prioritize other business responsibilities.

Some prominent examples of IaaS service providers are Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure, and DigitalOcean.

Now let’s move to the next part & checkut more examples…

Examples of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

Examples of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

Image Credit: TMS-Outsource

Service Platform Examples
SaaSG Suite, Dropbox, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, NetSuite, Cisco, IBM, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Slack, Concur
PaaSWindows Azure, Google App Engine,, AWS Elastic Beanstalk,, OpenShift, Rollbase, Apache Stratos
IaaSGoogle Compute Engine, Joyent, VM Ware, Amazon Web Services (AWS), DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Linode, Cisco Metapod, Magneto 1

If you are still confused between these services and don’t know which to choose, then this quick recap is for you.

  • SaaS refers to the software & applications used online given by a third party. Like Google Apps (Google Sheets, Google Drive, Google Docs) we use them online without installing them on our system.
  • PaaS refers to the tools & platforms available online where you actually tell the service provider to do a specific task.
  • IaaS refers to all the platforms or infrastructure given by the provider so that you can customize or upgrade according to your requirements.

All have their own advantages and disadvantages but this totally depends on the users and how they choose them to use.

Now let’s move to the next part… (Future of these services)

What Does the Future Look Like for These Services?

As companies develop new business models while meeting their goals, they might need to implement one or more of these three cloud computing services. Each one might rely on some form of data storage, but they might have more significant impacts on businesses in the long run.

Future of SaaS

Companies that use SaaS business models might experience more flexibility in their business models due to their universal accessibility. Using these applications to work anywhere with a desktop or mobile device can increase remote work capabilities for employees and supervisors.

Future of PaaS

PaaS service providers or distributors give companies all the necessary tools for creating software or applications, businesses can focus on running their businesses without performing maintenance or upgrades.

Having these tools available can allow businesses to increase their productivity pace for enhancing their operations while following current growth trends in the market. They are more likely to create many single platform apps or cross-platform apps and test them to make them as functional as possible.

Future of IaaS

IaaS might allow companies to launch their infrastructures more quickly. Due to the hands-on adaptability, businesses can scale up their resources depending on upcoming demands and goals that fluctuate over time. 

In the future, IaaS might expand to give users more flexibility and customization to suit their business’s needs.

Impact of Services on Business

When businesses incorporate cloud-based technology in their work routines, they can expect several benefits from using them. Depending on the company that uses them and what options they select, their progress might vary.

Impact on Human Resources

As the need for cloud computing services increases, the resources for operating these services also increases. Business models that require human activity, such as developing software with PaaS or managing infrastructure data with IaaS, should have extensive training for all parties to operate them efficiently. 

The increased need for cloud computing services may also lead to the rise of automation, allowing companies to pay for these services and their third-party vendors to reduce manual work for completing simple tasks. 

Financial Impacts

Many businesses might view cloud computing as an efficient way to cut costs for software maintenance. When using SaaS or PaaS services, the third-party vendors handle the data maintenance.

When the company’s software runs smoothly, they can get more work done and spend less on operating costs. This process might vary based on how swiftly employees learn to use, manage, or develop their software.


As more companies use SaaS, Paas, and IaaS for storing data, developing apps or software, and other tasks, they tend to show more significant progress. Whether these companies use public cloud computing services or develop private applications, they might differ depending on their objectives.

There are many ways SaaS and other cloud computing models can impact businesses as they adapt and change in the future. These practices might include increasing or decreasing their infrastructure’s scalability for the data or tools they need, implementing automatic management, or decreasing spending as they complete more work.

Although some businesses might use multiple cloud computing business models, their service preferences might differ from other corporations. 

SaaS might have the most potential for adapting for the future due to its accessibility on multiple platforms and communication changes resulting from offline and remote work protocol. When they have a plan worth accomplishing, they should pick a plan that suits them best.

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