Is there any difference between SaaS and Cloud Computing?

If you are like most businesses, you probably think that there is no difference between them as both are operated in a virtual environment.

But SaaS and cloud computing are not the same thing, despite having similar objectives, benefits and environment as well.

Here, we have explained the major differences between SaaS and cloud computing so that you have no confusion while choosing from them for your business.

Let’s start with Cloud Computing.

What is Cloud Computing?

In cloud computing, you use the services and infrastructure available over the Internet. In simple words, you use virtual computing resources over Internet whenever and wherever you are.


It doesn’t run on your machine, rather it is operated on your cloud service provider’s remote server. Cloud computing is a virtual IT infrastructure comprised of virtual computers/servers, data storage, communication and messaging platforms, network capacity and development platforms.

To access your data, all you need to open your computer’s Internet browser and log into your account available at your cloud provider’s website. You can use desktop computer, phone and tablet to access your data over the cloud, no matter where you are.

This is why cloud computing is beneficial for the businesses, especially for those who can’t afford big servers or staff to manage the data. With cloud computing, you don’t need to host, maintain and upgrade the servers. You enjoy a real time access to your data, whenever you require it. It is cost efficient as you pay only for rental space on the server.

Examples of Cloud Computing:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Microsoft Azure

Let’s talk about SaaS!

What is a SaaS?

Software as a Services or SaaS is the software licensing and delivery model over the Internet.

In other words, SaaS is any software application that is over the Internet. It is not on your machine. It is not a platform to build an application either. It is just a software application you use on the rental basis.


SaaS apps are available on the SaaS provider’s servers. You need Internet and a web browser to access SaaS. Instead of purchasing SaaS software, and then paying for their maintenance, you rent the software over a period of time—generally for a month or a year. The vendor is responsible for the security, maintenance and performance of the SaaS apps on their servers.

Like cloud computing, SaaS is beneficial for businesses in many ways. It does the same thing by providing you the real time access to the software available on the cloud via an internet connection.

Examples of SaaS Apps are:

Salesforce – It is a CRM you can access via the internet

Quickbooks Online – It allows you access your accounting records from anywhere in the world

Citrix GoToMeeting – It lets you start web conferences as you log in via your web browser

What is the Difference between SaaS and Cloud?

After going through the definition and explanation of both, many of you may be still considering them as the same thing. Here’s the key difference:

SaaS are full formed end-user applications while cloud computing is computing infrastructure and services available on rent.

Another critical difference between both services is that with SaaS, all the data is owned by the service provider. They can manage your data in any way it sees appropriate to them. For example, free email service controls and stores you data according to their privacy policies.

On the other hand, cloud gives you more control over your data. Despite the fact that servers are not local, you can manage and store your data the way you like. Moreover, you can transfer the data from virtual environment to your local servers.


SaaS is web based applications being provided to the users over the Internet while cloud computing is the virtual IT infrastructure. SaaS is a suitable option for small businesses looking for inexpensive solutions. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is practical option for larger firms having more resources and sensitive data to handle.

At Situation IT, we provide both SaaS and cloud services in Brisbane to every size of business. Just give us a call at (07) 3217 3060 or write to us at so that we know which service can fit your business needs.

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