The technology industry is renowned for its acronyms, with many having heard of them, but not necessarily knowing what they actually stand for. SaaS is just one of those and it’s becoming a buzzword in TrustQuay’s particular field of expertise - corporate services and trust administration.
Organisations of all sizes are moving away from on-premises data centres to the flexibility and scalability of the cloud, but the concepts and benefits of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – and their respective benefits - can easily become intertwined and confused. So I’ll explain the differences very clearly with the help of a mouth-watering analogy… Pizza-as-a-Service:
Homemade pizzas are like an art form and can take many hours to produce and perfect to each individual’s exacting standards. From the ingredients to the dough-kneading, and from the topping arrangement to the cooking method, the methodology and preparation fall entirely under your responsibility.
Similarly, an on-premises software deployment has to be tailored to each organisation’s requirements and include many factors which you are responsible for. From servers themselves to network infrastructure, from the operating system to the application, the task of maintaining and operating an entire technology stack falls entirely under your responsibility.
Looking for more? We'll be discussing and demonstrating the differences between all four at an in-person event and live webinar on 27 April 2022.
Supermarket pizzas increase the convenience, with only one item to buy and none of the kitchen mess. You are still responsible for the cooking methodology and presentation, but the supermarket provides the ready-made finished product for you to select and bake. Potentially more expensive than the raw ingredients of flour, tomatoes and cheese, but more reliability on the taste and texture.
Similarly, Infrastructure-as-a-Service provides your business with that extra convenience. You are still responsible for the operating system and application, but a provider takes responsibility for the servers and network, giving your team time to focus on activities other than just keeping the lights on.
Ordering a pizza from the comfort of your sofa with delivery straight to your door piping hot is the ideal Friday night treat. No oven required, and no shopping list forward-planning. All you have to do is tap an app and, on arrival, decide on the presentation (and whether cutlery is required). Similarly, Platform-as-a-Service removes most of the responsibility with the provider handling everything except the application and data itself.
Often confused with SaaS and often even marketed as SaaS, Platforms-as-a-Service and managed services do not benefit from multi-tenanted total cost of ownership reductions, do not have best-in-class availability and security ratings, and do not future proof your business with the latest and greatest functionality.
So look out for providers who talk to the infrastructure of a service rather than the service benefits themselves!
The utmost luxury is sitting down in a restaurant and being served, with the entire process taken care of. Time and energy can then be focused on the very reason pizza exists – socialising and enjoying the experience! This is where the Software-as-a-Service analogy fits so perfectly.
With SaaS, there’s no infrastructure and no software to maintain. Everything from the servers to the network, the operating system to the application, are provider-managed giving you peace of mind around your disaster recovery, data integrity and information security.
In addition, the service comes with hassle-free automatic updates on a regular basis and significantly reduces the total cost of ownership, providing companies with a true digital transformation that future-proofs their investment and differentiates their business.
Does the Pizza-as-a-Service analogy work for you? Where are you on your digital transformation journey and/or your adoption of SaaS for your business? Let us know in the comments below.
Suzanne is Junior Product Manager at TrustQuay