Cloud Words – IaaS, SaaS, PaaS – What Do All These Mean?

iaas saas paas what do all these cloud words mean

Many industries have a wide array of acronyms they employ in order to define certain industry-specific concepts, products, and services, and the field of information technology is no exception. While technology experts are typically well-versed in the meaning of the various cloud words, for the average layperson, they can present a definite challenge.

Of course, in order to determine which technology services will deliver the best results for a business, it’s important to understand all the various options available. In this post, we will discuss three acronyms used to define cloud services, specifically, IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, to bring about a clear understanding of what these services have to offer to a variety of corporate settings.

Defining IaaS

IaaS is an acronym for “infrastructure as a service”

Companies who decide to select this type of service often do so because they don’t want to invest in substantial amounts of hardware in order to support their various software packages and apps. Instead, they invest in cloud services such as virtualization and server space to meet their needs. Buying hardware does mean more accessibility and control, however it also comes with a hefty price tag that smaller companies often find off-putting.

While IaaS provides the benefit of reduced costs and the time involved in maintaining hardware,  business owners are still responsible for maintaining their software. This means they either must have some degree of technological expertise to manage this on their own, or they need a dedicated IT person or perhaps a team to provide software support.

Defining SaaS

SaaS stands for “software as a service”

SaaS allows smaller companies to take advantage of pre-built cloud-based apps that have a defined purpose.  Rather than creating a custom software package to perform a task, smaller companies can simply incorporate third-party apps such as Dropbox for their file sharing requirements, or they can use Shopify if they need an eCommerce site platform. While outsourcing certain tasks does have certain advantages in that it may allow companies to get a certain project up and running faster, and they won’t be responsible for maintaining third party applications, there are some downsides.

Employing third-party software apps means a business will have little to no opportunity to customize the app to suit their specific needs.  They also have no control over third-party apps, which lessens their degree of control over potential security issues as well.  In addition, integration may be challenging with SaaS, since third party software may not work with a company’s current overall platform, or a new platform if they decide to change at some point in the future.

PaaS

Last but not least, PaaS stands for “platform as a service”

If a company wants customized software to meet their needs, PaaS  can provide them with the cloud-based tools they need to build their own customized software. With PaaS, developers are given access to a vast library of pre-built elements, so they don’t need to code every process from scratch. Developing, testing, and deploying all happen in one environment, making it generally faster and easier to pump out software applications.

A downside to PaaS is that it is not a good option for companies who work with confidential data, which they may be required to keep on-site by law. Also, for businesses who already have some existing frameworks they would like to keep, this may present a significant challenge when trying to integrate them into a new PaaS platform.  

We’re Here to Help

When it comes to cloud-based platforms and services, there truly isn’t one right or wrong solution. The beauty of having the options such as PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS, is that it allows companies to choose the best solution to meet their specific needs.

If you would like more information on how to select the right cloud-based services for your unique setting, please contact us.

Office 365 vs. Office 2019 for Business

office 365 vs office 2019 for business
Office 365

Microsoft is an essential part of many business’ operations. Businesses rely on Microsoft Word for their word processing needs, Excel for spreadsheets and PowerPoint for presentations. The cloud has become an integral part of Microsoft’s offerings, and this had led the company to offer two different versions of Microsoft Office: 

  1. Office 365
  2. Office 2019

 Each version can be used for business, but which is ideal?

Office 365: Cloud-based

Office 365 is cloud-based, so you pay for a subscription either monthly or yearly. Cloud-based, Microsoft worries about updates, infrastructure and security. You or your employees simply log into Office on your web browser and can make Word documents, spreadsheets or any other file under the Office suite of products.

What’s nice about Office 365 is that it can be accessed anywhere on any Internet-connected device.

You can work on a document in the office, go home, and then work on the document some more. Automatic saving makes the process streamlined. Office 365 for business comes with the following office applications:

  • Access (only on PC)
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

All versions come with OneDrive, but the higher version comes with a few extras:

  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Teams

You will receive a desktop version of Office applications with Office 365. The maximum number of users on the business plan is 300, so everyone in the office can have access to Office 365.

Office 2019: Standalone Version

Office 2019 is a standalone product, so it’s a one-time purchase. You won’t have to pay subscription fees, but you won’t have the benefit of online collaboration on the cloud. Licenses are valid for one PC or Mac, and fully-installed versions will include the following:

  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

You’ll need to update Office 2019, and all of your files will be stored on your computer or server. A disaster recovery plan should be in place when using the standalone version of Office 2019, or you risk losing your data if your hard drive fails, you get a virus, or data becomes corrupted.

Which Office is Best for Your Business?

If you don’t have the budget for Office 365, Office 2019 may be the best option. In most other cases, Office 365 will offer the most flexibility. Not only does Office 365 come with its own version for your PC or Mac, but it will also offer:

  • Regular updates from Microsoft (you never need to upgrade)
  • Cloud-based data storage
  • Ease of collaboration for larger teams
  • Linking directly to files in the cloud
  • Access to all applications on multiple devices

Office 2019 will need to be updated when Office 2020 is released, but you can continue using Office 2019 for as long as you wish.

Contact us today to develop an Office 365 solution for your small- or medium-sized business.

Moving to the Cloud? Nail Down The Contract First

moving to the cloud nail down the contract first
Move to the Cloud Nail Down the Contract

Cloud computing has several advantages for small and medium-sized businesses. It allows easier access to company applications and software while on-the-go. It also frees up small companies to focus on growing their business, rather than getting bogged down maintaining their own technology resources. However, just because a business decides to hire an outside provider to manage their cloud resources, it doesn’t mean they are off the hook when it comes to protecting their most valuable asset — their corporate data.

When interviewing various cloud providers, there are several key points to consider before signing on the dotted line.

Physical Attacks

Just as any in-house servers would be vulnerable to fire, flood, power outages, or a natural disaster, so would the servers of any cloud provider managing a company’s cloud data. Since an organization’s data is the lifeblood of their company, it is critically important to feel comfortable with a potential cloud provider’s plan for protecting data in the case of these types of occurrences.

Security

Of course, it’s no secret that threats to external hackers and data breaches must be addressed, but there are internal threats as well. Just as it is important for companies to limit who is able to access what data within their own group of employees, so it is with any cloud provider they might hire as well. When interviewing potential providers, it’s important for both parties to clearly understand which provider employees will be given access to the client’s data.

A small business should feel comfortable that their cloud provider has strong measures in place to prevent unauthorized access, whether the access is attempted either internally or externally. If a breach or data loss does occur, there must be a clear understanding of what steps the provider will take to recover and correct the situation.

Costs and Flexibility

Of course, it’s very important to have a clear understanding of all the set-up costs associated with transitioning to a cloud provider, as well as long-term billing expectations. Another important factor to consider is whether a cloud provider uses any proprietary technology to service their clients. If they do, it could be difficult to transition to another provider if a small business decides their current provider is not a good fit.

For additional tips about signing a contract with a cloud provider, please contact us.

The Best Business Benefits of Cloud IT Solutions

the best business benefits of cloud it solutions
Migrating to cloud IT solutions can make your business safer, more future-proof, and more productive. Here are the best business benefits of the service:

Business Continuity

What happens to your business if you get hit by a snow storm in the winter or a hurricane in the summer? With cloud IT solutions, the answer is: not much.

Off-site backups are a great thing. They insure your business against physical harm in case something ever happens to your office. You can more or less remove business downtime from the equation.

Modern Security to Protect Against Modern Hackers

You need current technology to protect your business against current attacks. With cloud IT solutions, you’ll protect your business against data breach now and in the coming years. As the attacks become more sophisticated, so will the technology behind your service.

Flexibility Moving Forward

Who knows how much storage you’ll need in a few years? Alternatively, many businesses experience busy seasons in the summer or winter. With cloud IT solutions, you can always scale your plan up or down so you’re paying for just the right amount of storage. As your needs change, you can update your plan.

Mobile Employees

If your employees spend a lot of time out of the office, then you can let them access their files with cloud IT solutions. This also opens the door to who you can hire, since employees will essentially be able to work from home.

Collaboration

By storing your files and data on the cloud, you can make it easier for employees to collaborate. In general, the more employees work together, the bigger the projects they can complete. Cloud IT solutions make collaboration easy and practical.

Environmentally Friendly

Forget about buying traditional servers that take up lots of physical space. You can reduce your carbon footprint by getting cloud IT solutions and losing your servers. Prospective customers will appreciate your decision to protect the environment.

Cost Savings

Economies of scale make cloud IT solutions relatively cost-effective. This is the same reason why car manufacturers can produce affordable vehicles while it would cost a fortune to put one together yourself. Let the cloud services provider focus on IT while you invest in your core operations.

For more information about the benefits of cloud IT solutions, contact us today.

Enjoy the Benefits of Remote Support

enjoy the benefits of remote support

Enjoy the Benefits of Remote Support

Have you ever had one of those moments at work when your computer is just not doing what you want it to do? You are sure that if you were an IT professional it would only take you a moment to figure it out. But you aren’t. So instead you waste an hour of your time trying one thing after another, web searching for a solution, and still aren’t able to resolve the problem.

You are not alone!

This is a very common frustration with computers and technology. Large businesses generally have their own IT department. But what about all those small to medium businesses out there? Hiring IT support is a great solution and many IT companies offer remote support. The benefits of remote support are endless.

Remote support enables your IT company to remotely log into your computer and fix the problem as if they were sitting right there. It really is a sight to see if you haven’t experienced it before. It is like all of a sudden a ghost is operating your computer. Only it isn’t a ghost. It is an IT professional who can more often than not fix your problem. This saves both of you time because they don’t have to travel to you and you don’t have to wait for them to get there to be up and running again.

For more information about remote IT support in New York City and Long Island, contact us at AE Technology Group today. Of course we also offer on-site support when needed, but let us open your eyes to the wonders of remote support.