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Cloud Terminology Decoded: SaaS, IaaS and PaaS

From the Editor's Desk
Jan 22nd, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 2 min read
  • Hummy's

    1SaaS (Software as a Service) 2IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) 3PaaS (Platform as a Service)
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IT-Cloud computing concept for business presentations Photo Credit: Nata-Lia Shutterstock

If you’re confused by what ITaaS, SaaS, IaaS and PaaS stand for, you’re not alone. It’s all explained in an article by Bryant Amador on, titled How To Make Sense Of The Cloud’s Alphabet Soup: What Are SaaS, IaaS and PaaS?

The first thing you need to know in order to decode these acronyms:

 “aaS” means “as a service”.

ITaaS means Information Technology (IT) as a service–in other words, “the cloud”. All of the other aaS acronyms come under the category of ITaaS.


In the ITaaS model, you pay as you go to access IT services via the Internet, so that purchasing IT systems is unnecessary. It is a more streamlined, cost-effective way to operate.

The three types of ITaaS or cloud products are SaaS, Paas, and IaaS. SaaS (Software as a Service) allows you to access software online.


“With SaaS, you eliminate the need to buy software licenses, install and update the application, maintain and patch the program, replace it when needed, and ensure its uptime and accessibility. Typically, users visit a web site to log in and access the application,” the article states. Examples include web-based email, Drop Box, Google Drive, etc.


PaaS  (Platform as a Service) enables you to access an IT platform on the cloud for a monthly fee that gives your developers the ability to create apps without all the hassle of maintaining a platform.


IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provides you data storage on a cloud service provider’s server. “IaaS eliminates or reduces the need to purchase, house, maintain, backup and ultimately replace hardware in house,” the author explains.

To determine which of these cloud services are right for your company, the author recommends looking at the skillsets of your staff on hand and your financial resources.

“When you get down to it, cloud computing isn’t really about letters at all. It’s about dollar signs. Figure out how the dollars and cents of cloud computing can work best for your business and go after it,” he concludes.

To read the original article in its entirety, please visit

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From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: