Software as a Service and Cloud Computing
It is easy to use jargon when talking about IT in education and I did this myself on Friday when referring to ‘Cloud Computing’ What is more I did trip between the concept of Cloud Computing and Software as a Service as interchangeable ideas when they are not. Quite a few people have contacted me asking for clarification on these terms when I have used them recently and so I thought it was worth a post. Before I try to define the differences in the terms myself I thought it might be useful to employ the use of YouTube! Here is a short (5 minute) video on Cloud Computing which is a big buzz word in IT at the moment.
If you are still thirsting for more then take a look at The History of Cloud Computing. Alongside this is the idea of Software as a Service. Take a look at this video here for a quick input.
So the difference? Cloud Computing is a broad term which refers to the availability of Internet based services on a ‘pay as you go’ basis replacing the traditional need for significant hardware and software investment for businesses to run their online operations. Software as a service is a much narrower concept based on cloud computing where software is hosted in the cloud and available to users via the Internet instead of on their machines. So thinking about education what is a managed Learning Platform like Fronter or Frog? Does it represent Cloud Computing or Software as a Service? I think it is both but am keen to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable. Surely though it is software (e.g. SharePoint) which is hosted in the cloud and is easily scalable dependant on the number of users. I knew this post was a bad idea!