I’ve read many stories that say IaaS is the future of computing. I disagree. All IaaS does is take the ghosts of networks past and shove them into the cloud. Granted, there are a few benefits in IaaS—mainly that it’s not all legacy infrastructure running in cloud VMs. But when I think of the future of computing, and more specifically the future of cloud computing, I see SaaS offerings like Office 365 as the last “aaS” standing.
In other words, I see IaaS and PaaS as interim technologies, not as the long-term future. They’re cloud-based halfway houses for the datacenters that IT has long focused on. But the move to SaaS means you won’t ultimately need to run anything like a datacenter, whether locally or in the cloud.
The overall cloud trend is to reduce hardware on-premises and push services to someone else’s infrastructure. But there remain many in IT who believe they need some infrastructure for their current environment, mainly for control of implementation, security, and data. IaaS, as well as PaaS, is where IT can exercise that control by shifting where the computing happens while still owning it.
In other words, IaaS is really about maintaining compatibility with the legacy, on-premises approach to IT. The cost of running IaaS in production (as opposed to the dev/test use of PaaS) makes it prohibitive for many organizations, especially because you still have all the other traditional expensess, from software licenses to management overhead. By contrast, SaaS absorbs all those needs—and their costs—in a cheaper package.
You might argue that the growth of IaaS such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure prove that IaaS is an integral part of the future technology stack. I believe we will continue to see growth in the use of cloud infrastructure.