When we published the article on the difference between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS we already expected to be asked for examples of each of these IT-suppliers. In this blogpost, we are happy to oblige.
What is SaaS, PaaS, IaaS
IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are acronyms describing the different phases of outsourcing IT to external specialists. Whether it is based on a cost-benefit calculation or on strategic considerations, companies may feel more or less comfortable when outsourcing their IT.
Types of cloud computing SaaS PaaS, IaaS
IaaS, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, is the least extensive form of IT outsourcing. Companies no longer buy their own hardware but use hardware (Virtual Private Servers, VPS) provided by an external supplier. As an IaaS-customer, you are still responsible for configuration, maintenance, and security.
One step up from IaaS is PaaS, Platform-as-a-server. Companies chose PaaS to avoid the hassle of maintenance and security. You not only get a server to use, but a working platform (middleware) you can use to develop your own business.
SaaS, Software-as-a-Service, is the most extensive form of IT outsourcing. You don’t need to worry about any technicalities, you just get a working piece of software to work with.
One could say that SaaS is a front-end product, and IaaS the back-end, whereas PaaS is neatly wedged in the middle.
Do you want to know more about the differences between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS?
Examples of IaaS
Probably one of the biggest players in the market of IaaS is Amazon Web Services (AWS). This internet behemoth offers computing power, database storage, content delivery, and a wide array of other functionalities. AWS is everywhere, and it feels like it has been around forever. Still, this Seattle Based-IaaS provider was founded only 9 years ago, in 2012. Today, AWS brings in revenues that are estimated to be more than $10B. To compare, the GDP of a country like Brunei, with its 425.000 inhabitants, is “only” $12,1B!
Are you overwhelmed by the many options of AWS? Los Angeles-based Caylent might be helpful. Founded in august 2015, Caylent is a nice little (revenue estimated to be around $1M) cloud-native services company that helps companies get the most from AWS.
Google Compute Engine
If there is a market for an IT product, you can be sure that Google wants to be part of the action. Google Compute Engine offers scalable, high-performance virtual machines. According to users migration and maintenance are easily done in an app without actually affecting performance. However, some say it’s not very user-friendly. Especially since this cheaper alternative to AWS offers fewer features.
Linode provides users with Linux virtual machines to build a global infrastructure. Since it was founded in 2003, Linode has already welcomed more than 800,000 clients. According to users, Linode hands you a “robust set of tools” to develop, deploy and scale your application landscape, while also providing a support level that is unrivaled by its direct competitors.
Also, users are very happy about the value-for-money offered by Linode. This company is the purest of IaaS, as it literally allows you to do anything you want with the servers you rent. You are in full control.
Examples of PaaS
Are you eager to move to IaaS, but do security concerns hold you back? Armor was founded in 2009 and has one single goal: to keep your IT secure. Armor is considered to be a leader in active cyber defense, offering customer-centric security outcomes for a broad range of companies.
If your data is highly sensitive, you want the best possible security. Armor uses a proprietary cloud infrastructure. While most clouds integrate some security measures in their cloud, the Armor cloud was designed around one single premise: things have to be secure!
While the level of cybersecurity Armor offers is not something everybody needs, the company generates annual revenues estimated to be between $10-50M. The Armor offer is semi-IaaS and semi-PaaS.
Examples of SaaS
If you are looking for examples of SaaS companies, the SaaS-Company Database is all you need. But still, there are a few we’d love to highlight. Of course, any selection is highly arbitrary. So is the choice of the criteria upon such selection is based. Below are examples of SaaS which are drawing our attention.
How do you distribute code? GitHub is a pretty well-known service, but GitLab (founded in 2011) is preferred by many developers. One of the key differences between GitLab and GitHub is that GitHub requires you to make your code Open Source. That’s not something every company is comfortable with. Do you want to keep your proprietary code proprietary? Then GitLab is your go-to SaaS platform.
Who said you couldn’t move your entire supply chain to the cloud? Stord has been helping logistical companies since 2015 as a SaaS solution that makes an on-premise infrastructure obsolete. Stord claims their Cloud Supply Chain “is the convergence of the digital and physical elements of logistics”. This would allow businesses to build, expand and optimize their physical supply chain operations across freight, warehousing and fulfillment.
Stord appears to be successful, a unicorn even, considering their estimated revenue is somewhere between $100-$500M annually.
In 2010, Shan Krishnasamy founded a company named Freshworks. The mission: providing innovative customer engagement software for businesses of all sizes. This SaaS platform integrates essential secondary processes such as customer service, IT Service Management, HR management and primary processes such as Sales Automation and Marketing Automation.
Freshworks wants to be better than the competitors, claiming they “deliver on the unfulfilled promise of easy-to-use SaaS software”.
Tinder uses the location history in your phone to look for people that not only match your criteria but are also nearby. By swiping, you can indicate whether you’d like to meet this person, or not.
Of course, I could have picked any app installed on my phone to drive home the message that examples of SaaS are not necessarily B2B (Business to business). Many examples of SaaS are B2C (business to consumer). But let’s face it: my apps aren’t that interesting to talk about.
Tinder, on the other hand, is probably an app everybody has heard about. You may use it, or not, and you may like it –or hate it. Also, this dating app is probably the furthest thing from anything corporate one could imagine. So it’s the perfect example of B2B SaaS, which means it has earned a spot on this list.
IaaS, PaaS, SaaS
By giving these examples of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, and with the earlier blog post we hope you have a clear idea of the differences between IaaS, PaaS, SaaS. Of course, companies might be harder to classify, as they may offer different products, some IaaS, some PaaS, and such. For example, some companies may offer a VPS with an Operating System installed. But armed with the theoretical knowledge you just obtained, you can hold your ground in meetings and during sales pitches, helping you make better choices.