Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

SaaS Vs Cloud – A retrospective

Posted on: 24 November '11

To say that the term ‘SaaS and Cloud’ are most misleading in today’s context is not an exaggeration. Gartner was placing SaaS and Cloud computing separately in hype cycle just a couple of years back and has now decided to combine them under cloud computing. I can think of many reasons including some radically polarized thoughts but then I have lesser influence, if I have one! In fact, ReadWriteCloud Channel places cloud computing as the top worst term in the world of cloud while its poll indicates Cloud in a box, Cloudstorming and (Fill in the blank) as a service being the top contenders. I think it is time analysts put an end to coining more terms in the world of cloud and make it simpler.

Are SaaS and Cloud really different? I think yes. Reasons are plenty but a few are more prominent than others, like the target audience. While SaaS audience is more and more about people who are using an internet application, cloud computing is about the technical elements such as hardware, software and services that are required to support the application, thus targeting software vendors (ISVs) rather than users. Competition for SaaS comes from on-premise softwares which is not the case for cloud computing. Though both works on the similar principles of buying vs. leasing, SaaS is more about application and functionality while cloud computing is more about technology, services and infrastructure. To summarize, I think we can safely say that SaaS is “on demand software” while cloud computing is “on demand services”.

So, why is the confusion? I think it has more to do with marketing than anything else. Cloud as a term has become all encapsulating term for anything on-demand, outside the firewall! You wanted on-demand storage, on demand computing, on demand CRM, it is all Cloud. Make life easier for marketers, isn’t it?

Do SaaS and Cloud compete with each other? No, they don’t! They complement each other and they will co-exist for a long time. The terminology may differ, the keywords may be redefined but the difference will still be there. Some skeptics may say that SaaS is one of the offerings in Cloud and though I may agree with it, it still makes it different.

I may be an outlier, but in my opinion, cloud computing is just one of the ways to deliver SaaS!

Mindtree Blog Archives

Mindtree blog Archives are a collection of blogs by various authors who have independently contributed as thought leaders in the past. We may or may not be in a position to get the authors to respond to your comments.

  • suryanshu goswami

    My idea of cloud is a bit different. Cloud itself is a service consisting of three components. Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a service and Software as a Service(IaaS,PaaS,SaaS).Each one is one level higher than the previous where in each one will already have the previous one encapsulated or abstracted. For e.g. we can develop product on a cloud platform like Windows Azure. The productized offering becomes a SaaS where in the IaaS and PaaS capabilities are already implied.

    • Thanks Suryanshu. I don’t think usage of IaaS or PaaS is mandatory for a SaaS product. If you term home grown solution as IaaS or PaaS, then it is different take, isn’t it?