Cloud and SaaS – do people really know what they are talking about?

I keep seeing blog posts, articles and presentations about Cloud and SaaS, the two words being used interchangeably.. Are they doing it on purpose?? I mean, if you are a company using the SaaS model are you saying Cloud company because it’s hype right now?? SaaS and Cloud are not the same thing! you cannot switch one another to be hype! Let’s clarify very simply:

SaaS: Software as a Service = You pay for the usage of an application (or a set of application) as you go (it’s like a service). You do not update or maintain the product, you access it and use it (it’s as a Service). It’s a Software (like Software as a Service). An example is Salesforce CRM solution. it’s a CRM software, that you can use as a Service. SaaS.

Cloud: “Something” from which you draw resources without really knowing what’s in there. Basically it’s a bunch of Server, routers, switches and load balancers with a OS layer that removes all those terms from you vocabulary and make it look like a Cloud. You want more power, you get it, you want more space, you get it. Who or what provides it, it’s the Cloud. you don’t need to know in fact.A Cloud is not a SaaS, it’s an infrastructure on top of which resides “your needs”. SalesFroce has something called Force.com which is a Cloud, on which third parties build SaaS offerings.

As I said, SaaS companies often times use Clouds to put their product. Simply because the SaaS model will grow as you get more users and you don’t want to have to buy too big right away. So starting on Cloud allows you, as a SaaS provider to grow as you go.

There is a lot more to the Cloud and to SaaS than what I just exposed here, but please, stop saying Cloud company when it’s a SaaS company and vice versa. It just demonstrate right from the start that you have no clue what you are talking about.

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