What’s Software as a Service (SaaS): A Newbie’s Guide

What’s SaaS?

Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you merely access it via the Internet, freeing yourself from complicated software and hardware management.

SaaS applications are sometimes called Web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software. Regardless of the name, SaaS applications run on a SaaS provider’s servers. The provider manages access to the application, together with security, availability, and performance.

SaaS Characteristics

An excellent way to understand the SaaS model is by thinking of a bank, which protects the privateness of each buyer while providing service that is reliable and secure—on a large scale. A bank’s customers all use the same monetary systems and technology without worrying about anyone accessing their personal information without authorisation.

A “bank” meets the key traits of the SaaS model:

Multitenant Architecture

A multitenant architecture, in which all users and applications share a single, common infrastructure and code base that is centrally maintained. Because SaaS vendor purchasers are all on the same infrastructure and code base, vendors can innovate more quickly and save the valuable development time previously spent on maintaining quite a few variations of outdated code.

Easy Customisation

The ability for each person to simply customise applications to fit their business processes without affecting the common infrastructure. Because of the way SaaS is architected, these customisations are unique to every company or user and are always preserved through upgrades. Which means SaaS providers can make upgrades more often, with less buyer risk and far lower adoption cost.

Better Access

Improved access to data from any networked system while making it easier to manage privileges, monitor data use, and guarantee everyone sees the same information at the similar time.

SaaS Harnesses the Consumer Web

Anyone familiar with Amazon.com or My Yahoo! will be familiar with the Web interface of typical SaaS applications. With the SaaS model, you can customise with point-and-click ease, making the weeks or months it takes to update traditional business software seem hopelessly old fashioned.

SaaS Tendencies

Organisations are actually growing SaaS integration platforms (or SIPs) for building additional SaaS applications. The consulting firm Saugatuck Technology calls this the “third wave” in software adoption: when SaaS moves beyond standalone software functionality to change into a platform for mission-critical applications.

SaaS is one of several cloud computing options for business IT issues. Different ‘as-a-Service’ options embrace:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – the provider hosts hardware, software, storage and other infrastructure component

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Everything as a service (XaaS) – which is essentially all of the “aaS” tools neatly packaged together.

The payment model for these kinds of services is typically a per-seat, per-month cost based mostly on usage – so a enterprise only has to pay for what they need, reducing upfront costs.

SaaS v packaged software

Previously, businesses purchased and relied on packaged software – from multi-application systems covering spreadsheets, databases and email to specialist packages for zakarian01 particular tasks like project management or enterprise intelligence.

Packaged software – the drawbacks

To use sales and marketing for example, a business may have used on-premises software for CRM.

This software wanted to be evaluated, bought, installed, kept secure, maintained and recurrently upgraded on in-house systems by the internal IT department.

Utilizing packaged software placed a burden on the IT group which may turn right into a bottleneck for projects.

A business may find yourself needing to assist a wide variety of systems side by side, however find it tricky to integrate them as they had been coded and built differently.

This approach additionally introduced upfront prices for software and licences and probably servers for the software to sit on.

The prices of the CRM software and hardware may mean it is not affordable for small businesses. It is also tough to scale up quickly in response to progress or change.

Be taught more about Sales Cloud and the benefits of cloud-based CRM

The benefits of SaaS

Elevated effectivity and cost effectiveness are the reasons many businesses give for turning to cloud-primarily based SaaS solutions. The advantages embrace:

Low setup and infrastructure costs

You just pay for what you want with no capital expenditure that needs to be depreciated on your balance sheet over time.

Accessible from anyplace

Just hook up with the internet and you can work from wherever it’s essential be through desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile or different networked device.


You may adapt your requirements to the number of people who want to make use of the system, the amount of data and the functionality required as your small business grows.

Industry leading service level agreements (SLAS) for uptime and performance

So you may have assurances that the software will be available to make use of whenever you want it – a tough promise for in-house teams to make.

Automatic, frequent updates

Providers supply well timed improvements thanks to their scale and because they obtain feedback about what their clients need. This frees up your IT department for other more enterprise-critical tasks.

Security on the highest level required by any buyer

Because of the shared nature of the service, all users benefit from the security level that’s been set up for these with the highest need.

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