Cloud computing is one technology moving faster than almost all others toward becoming table stakes in enterprise IT. In 2017 alone, the public cloud services market is predicted to grow 18 percent, hitting a value of $246.8 billion, according to research firm Gartner.
Understanding the cloud can help business leaders make more strategic investments and remain competitive going forward. Cloud clarity starts with understanding the model itself.
As a service
According to 451 Research analyst Carl Brooks, for a technology solution to qualify as “as a Service,” it has to meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition parameters, which he paraphrased as “self-service, paid on-demand, elastic, scalable, programmatically accessible (APIs), and available over the network.”
In a general sense, the cloud is divided into three distinct layers: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The fundamental model of cloud computing that underpins all three of these layers is a service rental model, according to Forrester Research principal analyst Dave Bartoletti. “You are renting infrastructure, or you are renting development platforms and tools, or you are renting software. That’s IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS,” Bartoletti said.