A common question that pops up in the IT field is whether or not Microsoft 364 is considered SaaS (Software as a Service) or if it’s cloud software. The answer is not as straightforward as you would think. There’s a lot of interpretation there. With this, let’s get into the specifics.
Cloud technologies have become all the rage recently, and businesses are choosing from a variety of options when it comes to their computing environment. It’s possible to go all-in and place all their technical resources in the cloud.
It could be dedicated or one that’s shared. Another option is storing protected data on a private cloud while simultaneously being able to use public cloud resources still. Many people refer to it as their “hybrid cloud.” Using a shared resource like Microsoft Office 365 is also a great solution.
All told, does that make Microsoft Office 365 a SaaS solution or a cloud solution? Perhaps a little from both.
Understanding Office 365
So many companies have been migrating to Office 365. More and more are reaping the benefits of that decision over time. Microsoft Office 365 helps organisations of all sizes to use e-mail, share information and work on projects with coworkers in their office as well as partners outside of the organisation proper. Today, it’s gone mainstream, with businesses of all types making a move to use it for themselves.
In order to understand Microsoft Office 365, it’s first necessary to understand the difference between cloud computing and Software as a Service. The cloud is part of the larger cloud computing paradigm.
Cloud computing (or just “the cloud”) refers to a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
This is why Office 365 is often seen as being the same as the cloud. It’s similar to the cloud in that information and files can be accessed in a shared pool that’s easy to use, and it makes working with others and email easier.
That said, the cloud goes beyond sharing information and files. In fact, it’s normal to be confused when it comes to cloud technologies. However, simply put, businesses generally shift onsite technologies online (whether shared or privately).
Computing resources are essentially housed online via the cloud, meaning they’re accessible anywhere that has a working internet connection. A private cloud allows only authorised users to access resources.
On the other hand, SaaS is a model of licensing and delivery wherein the software is provided via subscription. It’s centrally hosted and usually accessed via a web browser by users.
Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based service that people access on their computers in a web browser. It should be noted that while SaaS can be run in the cloud, that doesn’t automatically make all SaaS programs cloud-based software.
Microsoft Office 365 is often mistaken as one of two things: Software as a Service or a cloud solution. Those are two rather different things that can be rather confusing to navigate, but the program brings the best of both worlds. Since Microsoft Office 365 is a versatile tool that’s application-like, it can run on physical servers and cloud servers alike.
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