Cloud computing services have become increasingly popular in recent years. According to a report by Forbes, 83% of all computing workloads conducted by businesses will occur on the cloud by 2020. Cloud computing eliminates the need for expensive on-premises equipment, making it a smart investment for businesses. But there are different types of cloud computing services, including software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

#1) Software as a Service (SaaS)

The most basic type of cloud computing service, SaaS involves the delivery of an application over the internet by a third-party cloud service vendor. Microsoft Office 365, for example, is a SaaS because it’s a cloud-based app. Rather than downloading and installing the software on your computer, you can access it over the internet. Therefore, using SaaS products can free up space on your computers and other local storage devices.

SaaS also eliminates the need for manual hardware. Both the hardware and software used to power a SaaS product is updated by the respective cloud service vendor.

#2) Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is similar to SaaS, except it involves the delivery of an entire app-creation platform rather than simply one or more specific apps. Examples of PaaS products include Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine and Amazon Web Services Elastic Beanstalk, all of which can be used to create custom apps.

Like SaaS products, PaaS products are delivered over the internet. After subscribing to a PaaS product, you can access the app-creation platform online. The only difference between SaaS and PaaS is that the former involves the delivery of an app, whereas the latter involves the delivery of an entire app-creation platform.

If you choose PaaS, you’ll be responsible for updating any apps that you create using the platform.

#3) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Finally, IaaS is a cloud service model in which an entire computing infrastructure is delivered to a user over the internet. With IaaS, a cloud service vendor will provide you with virtualized computing resources. Examples of IaaS products include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Cloud Servers.

IaaS offers the greatest level of customization and flexibility regarding the usage of computing resources. If you need more resources, you can generally add them to your subscription from the cloud service vendor. And if you need fewer resources, you can remove them from your subscription. You won’t find this same level of versatility in other cloud computing models like PaaS and SaaS.