What’s the Difference Between SaaS and the Cloud?


Recently, the terms “software as a service (SaaS)” and “cloud computing” have become interchangeable. But are they actually the same?

The Cloud

Interestingly enough, though cloud computing is now common knowledge, many people only have a superficial understanding of what it actually is. This is due in large part to the lack of consumer-friendly language used to describe it, even years after its release. The cloud is explained to be a simpler and more efficient way to store your data online. Therefore, you can access it from anywhere, with any connected device. Though this definition is valid, it misses many components of the cloud that would differentiate it from SaaS in the eyes of a basic-level tech user. To simplify the definition, it's easier to refer to the cloud as a “place” where data is stored to make it seem more tangible. This “place” exists on a vast network of remote, global servers that each provide a different function. However, they work together as a single ecosystem to bring you data storage and management, applications and services. Examples: Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud and StorageCraft Cloud Services


Like the cloud, SaaS lives in the online space, meaning you need an Internet connection to be able to access it. However, it actually resides within the cloud. As its name implies, SaaS involves software being licensed to a user as a service. This software is not installed directly onto your machine. Instead, it is accessed through a subscription to the service online with a web browser. Examples: QuickBooks, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud and Slack

Main Differences

Cloud computing and SaaS have many similarities, but there are a couple of distinct differences. Firstly, you might say that the cloud can exist without SaaS, but SaaS can’t exist without the cloud. This means that the cloud offers more functionality and flexibility than SaaS. SaaS requires you to use their software only in the matter in which the third-party has intended. Another major difference is that the cloud gives a user more freedom with how they store and manage their data, and also keeps it more private than SaaS. When you store data with a third-party SaaS provider, you’re essentially putting your data in their hands. It’s not a negative per-se, but the third-party is able to use your data since it’s stored in their platform. Using a third-party service does have its advantages though. For small businesses and those with limited IT knowledge, a software platform will generally be able to do it all for them.

StorageCraft Cloud

No matter how and where your business generates data, it always stays safe and available in our disaster recovery cloud. We love the functionality that comes with keeping your data in a cloud and believe it’s the best way to ensure your data is secure and a click away if disaster strikes. Contact us today to learn more about our online data recovery solutions and the products we offer.

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