Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

In 2018, cloud computing revenue accounted for $258 billion, and it’s expected to grow to $552 billion by 2027, according to Statista. SaaS and PaaS accounted for $170 billion of the 2018 numbers. Cloud computing provides access to resources on an as-needed basis and services include networks, applications, storage, and services. For businesses, cloud computing saves money and provides increased responsiveness and agility.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS resembles the thin-client model, where clients have been replaced by web browsers, which act as the access point to software maintained on third-party servers. SaaS is what most consumers are familiar with, and it moves the task of managing and deploying software third-party vendors. The most common SaaS applications include customer manager apps by companies such as Salesforce, productivity software apps such as those on offer by Google Apps, and storage apps such as Box and Dropbox.

SaaS removes the need for in-house technical support and, typically, saves money. Instead, outsourced providers charge a subscription price per user or device.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS services are a subset of SaaS. Outsourced providers maintain a platform which companies can use to develop and deploy applications. PaaS providers deal with the more esoteric tasks of maintaining servers, including the server software and operating system. The underlying hardware also becomes the domain of the service provider, so businesses can concentrate on development and operational matters. This frees up bandwidth for in-house resource to focus on the business.

Most cloud services use virtualization technology. This means that businesses can scale up quickly by leveraging the resources of the service provider without dealing with purchasing hardware and hiring full-time subject matter experts.

“PaaS lets you choose from ready-to-go environments for Java, PHP, Python, Node.js, Ruby, .NET and Docker. You get one-click access to popular application servers, load balancers and databases. Plus, pre-configured clusters for popular platforms like WordPress, Magento and more,” according to Red Switches, a provider of cloud computing solutions that give businesses access to a cheap dedicated server.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service is the most basic form of cloud computing. Service providers give customers access to hardware via the internet. However, customers typically manage their own OS, runtime and server software. This model makes it possible for businesses to expand their infrastructure without purchasing and storing new hardware.