Software as a Service
Software as a Service, otherwise known as SaaS, is a cloud-based service that lets you access applications over the internet. It belongs to the trifecta of cloud computing options that includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Similarly, it is an ongoing subscription.
A leading feature of such service is that this online alternative eliminates the need to download software of any sort on a desktop PC or business network. Also, SaaS offers a whole other host of advantages that ranges from lower initial costs and better compatibility to optimized operational management and market disruption.
You can expect that as 5G networks and broadband connections become more commonplace, SaaS will continue as a formidable contender in cloud computer services for various businesses.
How does SaaS work?
A SaaS provider provides you with access to a unique copy of a software program specifically designed for SaaS distribution. To take advantage of the application, an internet connection is essential.
In the particular case of SaaS software, the source code remains the same for all users. This can prove beneficial, as you can receive automatic updates, including new features or functionalities.
Data storage will vary from one user to the next depending on the service level agreement (SLA). You can decide to have your data stored locally, in the cloud or in both options. Finally, businesses can join SaaS programs with other software employing application programming interfaces (APIs). This means that companies can design their own software tools and integrate such tools with the SaaS offering using SaaS provider’s APIs.
Who uses SaaS?
Companies of different sizes can take advantage of SaaS to carry out a range of tasks, including sales management, customer relationship management (CRM), financing, human resource management (HRM) and much more.
SaaS may appeal to smaller businesses, as such a cloud-computing service can help these companies to scale vertically and even disrupt markets. With SaaS, these companies can enjoy services or specific features on demand at more economical costs and in turn, improve productivity and business services, and grow leads as well.
The most important aspects of being able to use SaaS is having an online browser and an internet-equipped device.
What are examples of SaaS?
Even if you are not familiar with the term SaaS itself, you will have already used programs offered in the Cloud. Some of the more common examples include mainstream favorites like Dropbox, Gmail or Google Docs, and Salesforce.
While some may believe that Facebook falls under the category of SaaS, the popular social network technically does not. Facebook does not adhere to the strict definition of SaaS, which is that the business model gains earnings through subscription-based fees. Rather, Facebook builds profits through partnerships and advertising.
What are the advantages of SaaS?
SaaS boasts many benefits, including:
- Easy accessibility - To make the most of the service, only an internet connection is needed; the operating system does not matter. By the same token, because it is easy to access online, you can continue workflow processes on SaaS applications from different locations without skipping a beat.
- Automatic updates - SaaS programs provide automatic updates and patch management. Such features are appealing for many, as it avoids the hassle of purchasing the latest software version and incurring additional, unexpected costs.
- Simplified storage - If there is a serious hardware crash, you do not have to worry about losing data or information. The cloud-computing service will store data online routinely regardless of the device that you’re using.
- Actionable data - A centralized platform like SaaS offers the possibility to leverage data for analytics use. This data can provide actionable insights that help streamline different business operations and result in higher cost-efficiency.
- Lower initial costs - Unlike installed software which requires you to pay a hefty amount upfront, SaaS follows a subscription-based business model. This can help businesses particularly with predictable budgeting and provide the flexibility to stop recurring costs for whatever reason necessary.
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