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6 Benefits of Hosting (IaaS) over SaaS for your Ecommerce Site

Tracey Stepanchuk

Freelance B2B SaaS Writer

Two clouds SaaS vs IaaS

In recent years, cloud services have dramatically changed how companies operate their IT systems. We’ve grown used to hearing acronyms like SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). Each of these has its uses, but IaaS offers specific benefits for e-commerce websites.

SaaS vs. IaaS in Ecommerce

SaaS means using software applications without having to buy and install programs on your own hardware. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, for example, are subscription-based applications that make it simple for anyone to set up an online store and sell products.

IaaS means using cloud-based resources to host one or more software applications using your own licensed and managed software. An external IaaS provider offers access to networking, processing power, and data storage, all of which the vendor manages for you, but you have full control and responsibility for managing the solution.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure are examples of well-known cloud services developed to provide IaaS. These are all ideal options for building and deploying custom data solutions, creating, and managing online storefronts.

Working with WordPress in IaaS

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems, powering 41.2% of all websites on the Internet. There are also handy e-commerce plugins like Magento and WooCommerce that have flexible shopping carts, inventory management tools, search engine optimization, and marketing options.

If your WordPress site is going to operate successfully, you need to have the right hosting provider. As of Q4 2020, AWS led the $130-Billion cloud services market with a 32% share. Hosting a WordPress e-commerce site with AWS is simple, especially if you have the right team to support you during your cloud migration process.

Enterprise Ecommerce Platforms

Larger, more sophisticated organizations often require the ability to integrate with ERP, CRM or other enterprise software platforms. Using an IaaS based enterprise Ecommerce platform, such as HCL Commerce (previously IBM WebCommerce) or the open source Shopware Enterprise, provides significantly more control through programmatic interfaces. The effort required to administer and develop custom components will, however, significantly increase the total cost of ownership so is not for everyone.

Benefits of IaaS for Ecommerce

IaaS or hosted e-commerce offers lots of benefits to anyone who wants to create a scalable solution while maintaining control over the data and resources. In addition, cloud service providers offer a wide range of additional functionality for integrating other applications or enhancing your Ecommerce solution. For example, AWS’s IaaS services include servers, networking, storage, and virtualization aspects.

Benefits include:

#1: Scalability

Scalability is a key factor in determining the success of any e-commerce business in 2021. Using IaaS enables you to scale up or down in response to rapid changes in consumer demand. Most IaaS providers have the very latest, most powerful technology available to their clients, which saves users from trying to keep up on their own. This is vital to enable companies to adjust to changing trends and market fluctuations.

#2: Customization

No two businesses are exactly alike, and the ability to customize data is essential for optimizing your sales. One benefit of using AWS for your hosting is that your data warehouse is in the cloud. Detailed data enables you to pull the specific analytics you need on your customers’ shopping habits and inventory status. This allows predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms to provide better, more personalized shopping suggestions.

#3: Long Term Savings

Using IaaS can save you money in the long run because you own your software and configuration, as opposed to with a SaaS vendor that is charging more as usage goes up. You are only paying for the commodity cloud services which provides price benefits at scale and a return on the initial development expenses. And if you choose a utility-based pricing model, you pay only for the resources you use.

Initial development and ongoing maintenance costs can be further controlled by working with a cloud services vendor. AWS partner vendors provide technical expertise and support on demand, so you don’t have to employ full-time staff where part-time or on demand services will suffice.

#4: Better Online Performance

When you manage your own e-commerce website, you have better control over technical factors. You can make adjustments to the website to keep it fast and easy to use. You also have the ability to decide what templates and UX to use. This frees you from the restrictions facing SaaS users, who have a limited number of themes to choose from. The more unique and up to date your site is, the better your performance in search.

#5: Flexibility

When you choose IaaS for your e-commerce website, you’re only using virtual servers and a virtual network. Your software choices are your own, which means you can install any operating system, software, and applications that you want. This gives you the flexibility to use off-the-shelf programs or custom software created specifically for your business.

#6: Cybersecurity

Security is one of the biggest problems facing businesses today, particularly e-commerce sites, which are a prime target for hackers. Every time a customer enters their personal or financial information into a database, it’s an opportunity for bad actors to obtain it.

The Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report shows 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses. However, 54% of SMBs have no plan in place to deal with such an attack, and 83% have no funds set aside for recovery costs. By using a cloud services provider like AWS, companies can be sure their sites are secure against the constantly evolving threat levels.


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