What is 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 simply access it by way of the Internet, zakarian01 releasing yourself from complicated software and hardware management.

SaaS applications are sometimes called Web-primarily 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 Traits

A great 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 safe—on a massive scale. A bank’s prospects all use the same monetary systems and technology without worrying about anyone accessing their personal information without authorisation.

A „bank“ meets the key characteristics of the SaaS model:

Multitenant Architecture

A multitenant architecture, in which all users and applications share a single, common infrastructure and code base that’s centrally maintained. Because SaaS vendor purchasers are all on the identical infrastructure and code base, distributors can innovate more quickly and save the valuable development time previously spent on maintaining numerous versions of outdated code.

Easy Customisation

The ability for every user to simply customise applications to fit their enterprise processes without affecting the frequent infrastructure. Because of the way SaaS is architected, these customisations are unique to every company or consumer and are always preserved by way of upgrades. That 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 machine while making it simpler to manage privileges, monitor data use, and guarantee everyone sees the identical information on the identical time.

SaaS Harnesses the Consumer Web

Anybody familiar with Amazon.com or My Yahoo! will be familiar with the Web interface of typical SaaS applications. With the SaaS model, you may customise with point-and-click ease, making the weeks or months it takes to replace traditional enterprise software appear hopelessly old fashioned.

SaaS Trends

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 grow to be a platform for mission-critical applications.

SaaS is one in every of a number of cloud computing solutions for enterprise IT issues. Other ‘as-a-Service’ options include:

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 providers is typically a per-seat, per-month charge based on usage – so a business only has to pay for what they want, reducing upfront costs.

SaaS v packaged software

Prior to now, businesses bought and relied on packaged software – from multi-application systems covering spreadsheets, databases and electronic mail to specialist packages for particular tasks like project management or business intelligence.

Packaged software – the drawbacks

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

This software needed to be evaluated, purchased, put in, kept secure, maintained and commonly upgraded on in-house systems by the inner IT department.

Using packaged software placed a burden on the IT crew which might turn into a bottleneck for projects.

A enterprise may end up needing to support a wide number of systems side by side, however discover it tricky to integrate them as they have been coded and constructed differently.

This approach also introduced upfront costs for software and licences and probably servers for the software to sit on.

The costs of the CRM software and hardware may mean it isn’t affordable for small businesses. It could also be difficult to scale up quickly in response to growth or change.

Learn more about Sales Cloud and the benefits of cloud-primarily based CRM

The benefits of SaaS

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

Low setup and infrastructure costs

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

Accessible from anyplace

Just connect with the internet and you can work from wherever that you must be through desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile or other networked device.


You may adapt your requirements to the number of people that want to use the system, the amount of data and the functionality required as your corporation grows.

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

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

Computerized, frequent updates

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

Security on the highest level required by any customer

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

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