Businesses of all sizes are embracing SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, which is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. With this software delivery model, software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. How does SaaS differ from other cloud models, including the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) models?

With LaaS, service providers offer pools of abstract IT infrastructure resources (servers, storage, and network components) to customers on a pay-per usage model. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, cooling, operation, and maintenance. PaaS is a model where service providers provision fully-functioning computing and solution stacks on which applications are deployed. The providers provides the networks, servers, storage for the environment, as well as manages varying levels of scalability and maintenance.

Salesforce was the first SaaS built from scratch to achieve rapid growth. The products and services offered by Salesforce include customer relationship management, the sales cloud, the service cloud, platform, chatter, APX Exchange, configuration, and web services. Among the key drivers of SaaS growth include broadband and mobile. Analysts are seeing SaaS as the primary type of cloud investment, with 82 percent citing usage today and 84 percent looking to SaaS as the deployment model for new applications.

To learn more about SaaS, check out the infographic below presented by ProfitBricks.