IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS: Which cloud solution SMBs eye for?

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are the core building blocks for businesses to begin cloud excursions. However, determining which cloud product is appropriate for your small or medium-sized business remains challenging. In this article, we will discuss these three different cloud concepts and their advantages and disadvantages.

Cloud computing is popular among small, medium, and big organizations. It now spans a wide range of internet terrain and has progressed beyond just renting space to handle data. As an organization, if you start considering switching to the cloud for application or infrastructure deployment, it’s more important than ever to grasp the differences and benefits of the numerous cloud services. However, the selection should be made depending on the size of your company, its needs, and how much you can spend.

There are basically three main cloud models you can compare, analyze, and choose from. They are:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

This article will explain these cloud concepts, their benefits, and their differences. Knowing more about SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS will assist organizations in making the best selection for their operations.

Knowing More About SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS


One of the most prominent cloud computing service models is SaaS. Examples of SaaS include Netflix, Dropbox, Slack, and Salesforce. SaaS companies supply software to their customers through the internet. Most SMBs, particularly those involved in e-commerce, rely on SaaS for efficient data storage and email services. 

SaaS is especially beneficial to startups and small enterprises that must be up and operating as soon as feasible. It helps you get free from all the hassle of managing hardware and software. A variety of SaaS apps can be integrated into any form of small company system. Whether you work in retail, food service, or banking, a SaaS application can help you be more efficient.


  • Economical: Adopting SaaS offers potential savings by utilizing vendor-managed servers. The approach – software as a service – facilitates flexible payment options like pay-as-you-go, which means paying just for the services used. Saves you hardware or other maintenance costs.
  • Smoother coordination: SaaS apps relieve the encumbrance of long traditional software deployment lags since they are hosted in the cloud. They do not need setup, device modifications, or licensing administration.
  • Agility: A SaaS system may quickly expand to meet changing company requirements. In contrast to the old paradigm, no additional server or software is required.
  • Ease of access: A computer and a broadband connection are necessary to operate a SaaS application 24×7.


  • Limited management scope: Internal software apps give firms more flexibility to manage than outsourced alternatives, which a service provider controls. 
  • Security risks: When it comes to preserving the privacy of confidential data, safeguarding it on the cloud becomes a key concern.
  • Restriction: Although SaaS is growing increasingly mainstream, there are nevertheless numerous applications that don’t include a hosted platform.


PaaS happens when a third party provides an application software platform to develop bespoke apps. It enables developers to design scalable applications and offers customers a template that negates the need for them to maintain or set up data, servers, or storage resources.

Newcomers could profit from PaaS’s assistance for simple app development, allowing anybody to create apps using an internet browser. PaaS handles infrastructure updates, so customers aren’t required to stress over their application’s upkeep. The PaaS platforms can be hosted either on the cloud or on-premises. 

AWS Lambda is an excellent example of PaaS. It facilitates the administration of AWS resources. This implies that users may run code without allocating resources or maintaining the server. Its serverless architecture allows it to manage micro-service architecture easily. As a result, it has become appealing to several firms globally.


  • Limited programming: PaaS services enable quick prototyping and development by offering pre-configured infrastructure services and other tools. A platform provides various tools, frameworks, and code libraries, saving development time and simplifying the process.
  • Saving expenses: For those firms looking to cut running expenses and are pulling up an app for the first time with limited funds, PaaS is the most realistic solution. It eliminates the need to create apps from zero, lowering development expenses.
  • Increased business focus: Businesses don’t have to worry about system protection and repairs, letting them concentrate on company growth. Rapid infrastructure creation and deployment are feasible with PaaS, which helps improve the company’s ambition.


  • Security: As the app’s data is saved in the provider’s cloud database, it raises privacy concerns because the supplier has access to private and sensitive information. As a result, organizations must safeguard their apps by picking a reliable vendor. Else, the data may be jeopardized or hacked.
  • Control: Users have little authority over its PaaS platform. If a supplier someday raises its fee structure, the apps may become more costly. Therefore, it is critical to select the PaaS supplier intelligently.
  • Lock-in features: Certain PaaS functionalities can be beside the point to the customer. It might be software, language, or UI. But individuals do not have the power to update it. The only options users get to modify the app or recreate it.


Infrastructure as a Service is another cloud service. The companies could subscribe, rent or lease servers to store their data or computation. The service also allows the users to run the app on any OS on the rented servers without incurring any maintenance or operational charges. Further, it lets clients access servers from any location near their end users. IaaS dynamically scales up and down in response to demand and offers a service-level agreement (SLA) in terms of both uptime and efficiency. It is no longer necessary for physical servers in data centers to be manually provisioned and managed.


  • Less expense: With IaaS, no firm has to be concerned about managing network and hardware infrastructure, assuring uptime, or upgrading obsolete equipment. IaaS is a cost-effective alternative for startups and enterprises experimenting with new ideas since it protects the company from unexpected business surges.
  • Scalable: Users are not forced to modify or upgrade software or hardware or solve equipment issues. It may be readily scaled up and down to meet the needs of a firm. 
  • Flexibility: As contemporary work requires greater freedom, embracing IaaS enables more flexibility. The company employees can retrieve their files and data offsite and, if necessary, connect to the virtual office effortlessly and swiftly.
  • Provide impetus to company growth: The objective of any firm is to expand. Growth means more clients and a greater workload, which means more data.


  • Breach risks: A cloud computing system is easier to break into than a traditional server. The system is significantly more secure if it is connected to a local network.
  • Unanticipated expenses: It is usually less expensive than purchasing the same services in a bundled arrangement. However, the cost of utilizing IaaS services might abruptly rise, making IaaS look even more costly than traditional services. 
  • Dependence on a Third-Party Service Provider: While IaaS is a terrific option for many businesses, it comes with its own issues. One of the most difficult issues is your dependence on the provider. 

Which cloud solution is well-suited for SMBs?

SaaS is suitable for startups and small businesses who do not have large funds to spend on on-premise infrastructure and software. Companies may simply pay monthly membership costs and acquire online accounts with individual login access that can be employed on any device with an internet connection. A vast number of businesses now utilize several typical SaaS services at cheap costs, with easy adoption and operation.

The PaaS approach is also appropriate for small, medium-sized, and even bigger organizations with IT/software teams. Your organization may be capable of developing and customizing software but not keen on sophisticated hardware and database maintenance yet having better control over platform functionalities. It’s also useful if you want to focus on a digital product’s creative/design components rather than the tough technical aspects.