What is SaaS?

In today’s digital world, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) generally refers to a new and alternative way of accessing software, as opposed to more traditional methods of access.  Whereas in the past software would generally be purchased outright and loaded onto a device, SaaS normally refers to a subscription based model where the software is hosted in the cloud and accessed via the internet. There are a number of benefits of this to consumers, whether that is individuals using software for private purposes, or businesses.

There are many well-known examples of SaaS, including Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, Citrix GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx and Netflix.

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Examples of where SaaS can be used by enterprises:

  • Accounting and invoicing
  • Tracking sales
  • Planning
  • Performance monitoring
  • Communications

Traditional software

  • Users purchase the software upfront as a package and then install it onto their computer.
  • Licences may be limited to the number of users and/or devices where the software can be deployed


  • Users subscribe to the software, usually on a monthly basis, rather than purchase it, meaning no upfront costs.
  • Users can usually end their subscription when they no longer require it
  • Applications are updated and used online with files saved in the cloud rather than on individual computers

Benefits of SaaS

  1. No Hardware Cost
  2. No Initial Setup Cost
  3. Pay for What you Use
  4. Usage is Scalable
  5. Updates are Automatic
  6. Cross Device Compatibility
  7. Accessible from any location
  8. Applications can be customized



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