What Is Software As A Service?
In insight / By Ben Wheatley / 17 May 2019
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a distribution model whereby a business incorporates a third-party provider into their communication strategy to enable customers to view their product over the internet.
When it comes to cloud computing, SaaS is one of the three main categories associated with the system along with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
In today’s technological and digitalised world, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) generally refers to the new ways in which we access data and software as opposed to the more traditional methods. In the past, data was generally stored on one device and although SaaS still requires a device, it is instead stored on site which means there is a higher storage capacity.
Examples of SaaS
Software-as-a-Service is used across a multitude of businesses and is becoming increasingly popular as a means of improving efficiency and enhancing the working environment.
A few examples of SaaS are:
- [Office 365](https://www.nasstar.com/office-365)
- Google Apps
- Citrix GoToMeeting
- Cisco WebEx
Each of these can be used to their own advantage, offering various features and performances. The ways in which these tools and systems can be utilised is through accounting and invoicing, tracking sales, planning and performance monitoring and of course, improving communications
Difference Between Traditional Software vs. Software as a Service
In order to understand the true working process of Software-as-a-Service, it is important to recognise the ways in which it has changed, enhanced and benefited the more traditional forms of software.
Before, users would be encouraged to purchase the software upfront as a package and then install it onto their computer which could be a lengthy and time-consuming process. As well as this, licences may have been limited, and the latest updates and patches would need to be purchased as an additional extra in order to stay on top form.
Since the introduction of Software-as-a-Service, users are able to subscribe to the software on a monthly basis, meaning they can cancel and track any changes within purchasing at any time. As well as this, it also enables systems to be easily updated almost instantly without the wait or manual labour. Saving onto the cloud also means that users are able to access and save files whilst on the move, rather than on each individual computer.
Benefits of SaaS
Usually a subscription-based model, SaaS entitles you, your employees and your clients to a number of benefits. Take a look at some below.
No Hardware Costs
With SaaS, the processing power is supplied by the cloud provider, meaning there is limited or no hardware costs to worry about.
Thanks to SaaS, updates are often free of change and automatically distributed by the software provider which allows you to constantly be under the reassurance that your system is up to date and in check.
Limits Hardware Acquisition
SaaS removes the need for manual labour in order to run the system as well as install the applications. Not only does it limit the maintenance expenses, but it also provides software licensing and support to all systems.
Rather than purchasing various software systems up front, SaaS offers a pay as you go system meaning you can cancel at any time. This subscription service is beneficial to businesses as it allows them to manage their payments better and produce more predictable budgeting for future spends.
Thanks to SaaS being delivered over the internet, it means that users are able to access them from any internet-enabled device or location. Users are no longer restricted, providing a better work environment and increased productivity.