What Are Cloud Services & The Different Types Explained

Does your business need cloud services? Many IT companies will tell you, yes, but they won’t explain exactly why or even give insight into what cloud services actually are. We’re here to help you decipher the meaning of the cloud and explore the different types of cloud services available in order to make an informed decision about what’s best for your business.

What Are Cloud Services?

Cloud services is a far-reaching term. It refers to a wide range of services delivered on-demand to businesses and customers across the internet. The services offered through the cloud make it easier for businesses and individuals to access applications and resources. It removes the need for on-site hardware and complex internal infrastructure and is a much more accessible solution for the modern digital world. From logging into your email account to sharing files and documents, most people already use cloud services without realising it.

As a business owner, you can get even more use out of the cloud and find a solution to suit your business’ operations and systems.

We’ve already mentioned that email providers such as Gmail and Microsoft Outlook are cloud services. Other common services include programmes such as Dropbox, Cisco WebEx, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. There are thousands of individual services out there, and businesses need to find an effective combination for their business needs.

Examples of Cloud Services

We’ve already mentioned that email providers such as Gmail and Microsoft Outlook are cloud services. Other common services include programmes such as Dropbox, Cisco WebEx, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. There are thousands of individual services out there, and businesses need to find an effective combination for their business needs.

What are the different types of Cloud Services?

As cloud services evolve, they are naturally falling into specific categories, making it easier to find the right service for your needs. SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are the most common terms you will see when looking into cloud services. They represent three different ways of using cloud for business purposes. Many businesses may use a combination of these different types of service, and you can explore the various options before deciding on the best fit. Let’s look more closely at each of these terms.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

First up is IaaS, but what actually is infrastructure as a service? It’s where a company rents both the storage and servers they need from a cloud provider. The provider will also offer access to network functions, dedicated hardware and virtual desktops and machines. These technologies can form a business’ central base and be the foundation for other cloud-based services and SaaS to be accessed. IaaS is the best option for businesses that need to customise the underlying software or hardware in order to create custom-built apps and solutions.  

Examples of IaaS:

Popular examples of IaaS include Microsoft Azure and Cisco Meta Cloud. A good way to think of an IaaS is renting a piece of land that will form the foundation of your home or building. You have the base, but you need all the additional materials and equipment to make the best use of it.  


Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is where you can rent hardware and software tools from a cloud provider. PaaS includes physical hardware and the operating system necessary to deploy and use the cloud application. Companies pay for the things they need to build their own applications rather than paying for a range of separate hosted programmes. PaaS is best for businesses typically looking to create a development framework that can be used and built on over time by developers in order to customise cloud-based applications.

Examples of PaaS:

Popular examples of PaaS include Google App Engine, SAP Cloud and Microsoft Azure once again. An easy way to look at it is PaaS would be renting the tools needed to build a house rather than renting the house itself.


Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the most commonly recognised cloud service. SaaS allows multiple cloud users to access their applications. SaaS applications are usually hosted on a cloud server, meaning users do not need to install the application on their device. Finally, SaaS is best for small businesses who want to use ready-to-use applications or cloud-based apps over the internet. SaaS offers businesses a software solution that you are able to purchase on a pay-as-you-go basis.  

Examples of SaaS:

Common examples of SaaS are applications you probably already use like Office 365, Dropbox, and Google Workspace. SaaS can be likened to renting a house. You can access the house and use it as your own, but the landlord maintains the house.

Why Use Cloud Services? 

Businesses are migrating to the cloud for many reasons, not only does it help businesses boost productivity, speed up the decision-making process with everything being in one place, but it also offers many more benefits that your business could be reaping the rewards of.  The main benefits include:

Improved Accessibility

A cloud service allows you to access your data from any device, anywhere. It means you can have all your information, from work documents to family photos, with you wherever you are. There is no risk of losing or forgetting an important document as everything you need is stored digitally and can be accessed securely via any internet-connected device.

Added Convenience

Your cloud provider fully manages all associated services you pay for. Issues with the software or applications are no longer your problem. You simply need to maintain your end devices and have internet access. This is highly convenient as your business does not need to invest in or maintain significant amounts of hardware. You can also test and trial new software packages and programmes without significant investment. Work is a lot more convenient and straightforward with cloud services.

Budget-Friendly and Scalable

IT hardware and software packages are more expensive than ever before. Purchasing on-site servers and other infrastructure is a huge investment for any business and, in most instances, simply unnecessary. Cloud services make all software and infrastructure solutions affordable. You can pick a package that suits the size of your business and, in most instances, scale up or down over time as per your business requirements.

Find out more on why you should use the cloud including the advantages, costs involved and migration process.

How to Determine Which Cloud Solution is Right for Your Business?

Every organisation has unique requirements, but there is a cloud solution that fits every business, big or small. The right cloud computing model will help to ensure your business needs are met on a daily basis and help position your business for growth. It can be difficult to determine which cloud solution is right for you if you don’t have the right expert advice on hand, however here are a few rules to consider when deciding on the right type of cloud service for your business:

  • If you are looking for off-the-shelf services like email, collaboration tools and intranet, then SaaS is the best solution for ready-to-use applications.
  • If you are looking to build software products for your employees or customers, then the tools offered by PaaS providers are a better fit.
  • If your business needs a fully flexible work environment with almost limitless customisation possibilities and the provision of virtual machines, then look more closely at IaaS.

At Freestyle TS, we understand the confusion that can often lie when deciding on the right cloud solution for your business, which is why we offer a Free Cloud Assessment to any business looking to upgrade their IT systems. Our Cloud Readiness Assessment includes a free, in-depth review of your infrastructure to identify which cloud solution or IT upgrade is right for your business making it a smooth transition when it comes to the cloud migration process.

Speak to us on 01256 760922 or contact us via our live chat to start your free assessment. 

Find the Right Cloud Solution for Your Business with Freestyle TS

Freestyle TS have over 20+ years’ experience and specialise in local IT solutions and managed cloud services for small to medium sized businesses in Surrey, Hampshire & Berkshire. We can help provide information on the most suitable cloud solutions for your business, with affordable packages available for even the smallest of businesses. With on-going support, we can offer guidance at every step of the way to ensure your cloud migration process runs seamlessly.

Speak to an expert at Freestyle TS today to find out how we can support your business with our managed cloud solutions & local IT support or Request a free trial today,

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