What’s the difference between the cloud and SaaS? Aren’t they the same thing?
No. Hosting a solution in the cloud and SaaS in the cloud are not the same thing.
And it’s important to understand the difference to manage expectations and receive the services you need.
What is a cloud-hosted model?
Typically in a cloud-hosted model, the vendor is only responsible for building and deploying the infrastructure and technology. Then you are responsible for maintaining the software, implementing the upgrades, testing, etc. Essentially, they build it and you do the rest.
What is SaaS in the cloud?
With a true SaaS in the cloud provider, you are purchasing the right to use software that is web-enabled and accessible over the internet and leverages the power, scale and security of global platform providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) – which is what we built the Solifi Open Finance Platform (formerly IDScloud) on.
A true SaaS-enabled provider takes care of security, redundancy, backups, disaster recovery, governance, change control, etc. So they are responsible for maintaining the infrastructure, keeping it current with the latest releases, keeping it at high levels of performance, etc. – and all in the background so it doesn’t disrupt your operations. This means you can then focus on what you know best – how to improve the customer experience and build your business.
Questions to ask yourself and your vendor
Some questions to ask yourself when contemplating a hosted version vs. a SaaS-in-the-cloud platform:
- Are you interested in a hosted cloud model where some of the burden and onus of updating and testing is on you? And that you may experience delays in leveraging to the latest innovation in technology?
- Or do you want to move to a SaaS-in-the-cloud application where the scope of services is typically larger, benefits are greater and the software provider is responsible for the maintenance, the infrastructure, software, updates, releases, etc.?
To manage and understand expectations, you’ll want to ask the cloud host questions such as:
- How do you scale your services for a company like mine?
- How quickly can you scale up or down to meet our business needs?
- How difficult is it to upgrade?
- How open is the hosted model meaning?
- Can you integrate easily across our entire organization?
- Are core services available to speed time to common tasks and integrations?
- What am I responsible for? What is the vendor responsible for?