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The 3 types of services that exist within cloud computing in companies

Cloud computing has acquired a leading role in the current landscape of new technologies and in the business world. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at its current situation and distinguishing the different services it can offer companies.

The universalization of Internet use, which according to a report by We Are Social and Hootsuite currently stands at 4,388 million Internet users worldwide, coupled with advances in virtualization and distributed computing, have been the great catalyst for the growth of cloud computing.

Proof of this expansive trend is the Harvard Business Review study that says that 56% of companies already employ two or three cloud application platforms. In addition, we can observe these growth figures in the publication of the consulting firm Canalys, which reflects the growth of the most prominent companies in the sector throughout 2018:

  • Google Cloud grew by 46%.
  • Amazon Web Services by 47%.
  • Microsoft Azure by 76%.
  • Alibaba Cloud by 74%.

The cloud is clearly a future option that is practically already becoming a reality, as shown by Gartner’s predictions, which tell us that by 2025, 80% of companies will have migrated their data and services from their data centres to the cloud.

Given that cloud computing is here to stay, we need to have a clear understanding of several of the concepts associated with it. That is why we will now take a look at what cloud computing has to offer companies, highlighting the types of cloud services they can enjoy.


What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a broad term that covers everything related to services that are hosted on the internet. Among its main characteristics and advantages we can highlight:

  • Users can increase resources on demand, freeing administrators from this work.
  • Companies can increase or decrease resources according to peaks and troughs in demand. This means there is no need to contract large amounts of storage for the future if we do not need it at the time.
  • You pay only for the resources you use.
  • Providers implement resources that guarantee a fault-resistant service that always works.
  • Methods are provided to migrate data and services to or from the cloud or between clouds, automatically or manually by the user.

Cloud types

Cloud computing can be implemented according to the following cloud models:

Public cloud

This type of cloud offers its services to any internet user. Its servers and storage belong to the service provider and the customer generally only pays for the storage space or bandwidth they consume.

Private cloud

These clouds offer their services to a limited number of users through a company’s network. This network can be located at the company’s own premises or at an external provider’s premises.

Hybrid cloud

As its name suggests, this type of cloud is the result of a combination of the two previous ones. Data is stored in public or private clouds depending on the needs. For example, more sensitive information can be stored in the private cloud and less critical information in the public cloud, or the public cloud can be used for peak workloads that require higher performance.


This is an option that is being adopted by many entities and consists of several clouds between which the different services are moved and which can work simultaneously. With multicloud, customers are shielded against possible service interruptions.

Services within cloud computing

We can group the types of services provided by cloud computing into three main blocks.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

In this, the customer purchases all the resources, such as servers, storage space in a data center or network equipment, from the external provider. It is usually carried out using a virtualization platform. Of the three types of service, it is the one that gives the most control to the user and is therefore the most complex to use.

IaaS is ideal for developers, who can choose OS, amount of storage and other possibilities thanks to the full transparency of the service. Examples of IaaS are Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

With this model, the supplier provides the platform for the development of applications, as well as their maintenance and management. In other words, it offers everything that is needed to complete the life cycle and deployment of such applications or web services.

Here the user has no control over the storage or network infrastructure. PaaS maintains automatic scalability, depending on what the situation demands. An example of Paas is Google App Engine, where developers can create their applications in Java or Python.

SaaS (Software as a Service) or Software as a Service

In this case the customer can only make use of software that is hosted in the cloud. Therefore, everything related to maintenance, development, support and operations is the responsibility of the company offering the service.

The customer will use the system hosted by that company, which will maintain the customer’s information on its systems and provide the necessary resources to exploit that information. In this group we can use as an example any email web service, such as Gmail.

Employees impressed with cloud computing

Cloud computing and digital signature

We can consider identity and digital signature solutions as one of the major beneficiaries of the take-off of cloud computing. What are these benefits? Let’s take a look.

As we have said on other occasions, the technical and legal possibilities for signing a document are multiple, depending on the scenario, technical, functional or legal requirements. In the European Union, the legal forms are simple, advanced and qualified electronic signatures.

Solutions based on digital signatures have also become part of the cloud ecosystem, however, a priori, a difficulty arises, as signatures that require a digital certificate, require us to have our certificate installed locally, having to keep it safe, remember the password… This is where the cloud signature, also known as centralised signature, appears on the scene. This has the same fundamentals as the electronic signature with certificate, with the main difference that the custody of the certificate does not fall on the user himself, but on a secure and qualified server.

Being in the cloud, the certificate enjoys greater security, security that is reinforced with strong authentication methods, which consists of making use of at least two identifiers in order to be able to carry out any operation. These identifiers can be:

  • Something the user knows (password).
  • Something held by the user (key card, SMS token, OTP token).
  • Something that the user does or is (signature, voice, fingerprint, iris and other biometric factors).

In addition, the cloud-based signature is a great contribution to streamlining administrative procedures, as signatures can be made from any device with internet access.

Cloud or centralised signing, unsurprisingly, is regulated by the eIDAS Regulation, where it is known as remote signature (Art. 24.b of Regulation (Ue) No 910/2014), providing a regulatory framework to make electronic interactions faster, more usable, accessible and secure.

In Spain, there is a growing awareness of all the benefits that this technology can bring. Despite this, we are still lagging behind in terms of cloud computing implementation, as shown by Quint’s analysis of cloud computing in Spain, according to which 78% of companies invest less than 15% of their budget in SaaS and 67% spend less than 15% on Iaas and Paas.

However, 2019 is expected to be the year of the breakthrough for cloud computing in our country. In fact, this same Quint study states that 82% of the companies surveyed are planning to increase their investment in SaaS, while 83% plan to do so for IaaS and/or PaaS.

Cloud computing should definitely be recognised as one of the most important technological solutions to take into account when developing and executing the different work methodologies of any company. And, of course, digital identity and signature processes will also take advantage of everything that the cloud can bring to them.


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