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.
Examples of where SaaS can be used by enterprises:
- Accounting and invoicing
- Tracking sales
- Performance monitoring
- 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
- No Hardware Cost
- No Initial Setup Cost
- Pay for What you Use
- Usage is Scalable
- Updates are Automatic
- Cross Device Compatibility
- Accessible from any location
- Applications can be customized