Almost 50 percent of companies are already using the Cloud – not surprisingly, since the technology not only reduces costs, but also lets the user react swiftly to new IT system requirements. Companies using the Cloud need merely press a button to roll out the latest software update. CeBIT gives its visitors a globally unique overview of the limitless opportunities offered by the Cloud. And how companies of any size can make themselves fit for an increasingly competitive business environment.
Companies, systems, products: Cloud computing networks everything with everything to make megatrends like the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 possible. As demand rises, so does the number of offers – and it's easy to lose track of what's out there. Here's a simple overview.
With technological progress moving as fast as it has in the past several years, the trade press and marketing departments can barely keep up with all the new terms being coined. The language of IT is bursting past its boundaries on every side. When it comes to SaaS and cloud computing in particular, a Babel-like confusion often seems to reign.
What the various terms mean is not just a question of theoretical interest, but has real-life impacts. Only those who understand the differences can correctly interpret what providers have to offer, and find the best solutions for their companies.
Is cloud computing the same thing as software as a service (SaaS)? It can almost seem that way, as the two terms are frequently used interchangeably. Many talk about SaaS when they mean cloud, and vice versa. And there are further distinctions to muddy the waters: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud... differences that are not as unimportant as they might at first seem.
Simply stated: in cloud computing, the internet replaces your fixed computer. Providers make hardware, software and data available to you via the internet. The actual processes run in data centers that might be located on the other side of the globe. Your own computer is nothing more than a control unit from which you access the data and applications made available in the cloud. But what is so great about outsourcing your computing? Doesn't that mean giving up control? Exactly. And for most companies that makes perfect sense.
When you use cloud computing, you are spared the need to build and administer your own IT infrastructure. You don't have to set up backups, muck around with coding or correct malfunctions. And new versions and updates are automatically installed. Your provider takes care of all that from afar. You can upload your data to cloud storage, and then access it, using a browser from anywhere at all – and you can run software online as well. Which brings us to SaaS.
SaaS is a subset of cloud computing – the software piece. Hence the name. You use software via a browser from any internet-enabled device, and the files that are generated are stored online. Your computer is nothing but a gateway.
There is no need for a user license; instead you pay a monthly or annual fee.
A cloud application is the same thing as a SaaS application: software that you can use online and "on demand". But some providers also call on-premise software that is made available online, a cloud application – so take a close look.
Cloud computing is the blanket term. It includes the entire online offer of hardware and infrastructure as well as software. SaaS is a subset of cloud computing – the software piece.
Learn about first-hand. You will find all the major providers at CeBIT 2017.