If at the very least you are using the Internet for some part of your enterprise operations, you have to have heard of “SaaS” or “Software as a Service.” What used to be called “ASP” or “Application Service Provider,” has become stratified into the cloud computing stack. What are the other acronyms that are out there?

  1. SaaS – Software as a Service – Salesforce, Google Apps, Basecamp, Zoho, Freshbooks. Too many to list, but you understand.
  2. PaaS – Platform as a Service – Windows Azure, Force.com, AWS ElasticBeanstalk, Heroku, AppFog, Joyent
  3. IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service – AWS , Windows Azure, Rackspace, GoGrid
  4. BaaS – Back End as a Service – Kinvey, Windows Azure Mobile Services, Parse

In “Undrestanding the Cloud Computing Stack,” Ben Kepes of Diversity Limited collaborated with Rackspace to create what I think is one of the best distillations of what the “cloud” is all about. If you aren’t already on the path of modern entrepreneurship, this reading will be required sooner than later, so read it now.