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SaaS vs. Cloud vs. On-Premises What's the Difference

SaaS vs. Cloud vs. On-Premises: What is the Distinction?

The Best Things Come in Threes

SaaS, the cloud, and on-premises are all viable software deployment options when it comes to securing data and running an effective organization.

The right option for your organization, however, will depend on your current operating setup, how much time your team can dedicate to upgrades and maintenance, and how flexible you need your solution to be.

More often, many organizations are approaching this decision with a hybrid combination of all three. It’s important to understand the benefits of each in order to build the most efficient and functional hybrid IT strategy.

These are the top fundamental ways to manage your technology and how they vary:

What is On-Premises Deployment?

On-premises is historically the traditional way organizations have purchased and implemented software.

With on-premises:

  • You own the license and pay the total cost up-front – i.e. no ongoing subscription fees.
  • It is installed and will run on your own server(s).
  • Your organization will be responsible for ongoing costs like security management, maintenance (backups and upgrades), and replacement of servers.

What is the Cloud?

The cloud is a more modern and increasingly popular approach to securing data where software is made available to organizations online via a server that is owned by a vendor.

With the cloud:

  • The infrastructure, security, data integrity, backups, and upgrades are all managed by the cloud provider.
  • There’s no need for expensive, on-site infrastructure as the cloud is typically available via a subscription or pay-as-you-go pricing (this can also save on IT management and support costs).
  • Updates are automated, keeping software current and highly functional.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, short for Software as a Service, is a cloud-based method of software delivery where you access an application via the internet.

With SaaS:

  • There’s minimal setup required before you can use the software as intended.
  • You can save money up front and on an ongoing basis. SaaS solutions don’t demand as much from IT staff, since the provider takes care of maintenance and management.
  • Subscription pricing also allows for budget planning and to spread costs over time.
  • You can access the solution from anywhere and on any device; all you need is an internet connection.

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