Software as a Service (SaaS) is becoming increasingly popular for growing businesses looking to get the most out of their investments and streamline their operations. By delivering software as a service via the cloud, companies can access up-to-date applications instantly, without needing to install and license them. This revolution in software delivery offers a range of advantages and has been embraced by a variety of industries.
How SaaS works
Software as a Service (SaaS) provides businesses with the opportunity to access cloud-based apps which are hosted by a third-party provider. Rather than needing to buy, install and maintain such an application, businesses invest in a subscription with the provider and are granted access to the software.
With cloud-app development accessible via the internet, users can access the software and its features remotely, as long as they have an internet connection. Updates and patching are managed by the provider, meaning users don’t need to worry about version control. In some cases, users can also switch between platforms, accessing the same app from a variety of devices.
Advantages of SaaS
SaaS has a number of advantages that make it a desirable delivery model for many businesses. Here are some of the top benefits it offers:
With traditional software delivery methods, businesses would need to purchase the software and then install it on each device in their network before they could access it. This process can be lengthy and can cause major disruption to user productivity. SaaS requires only a fraction of the time and effort.
Convenience & affordability
Cloud applications are usually quicker and cheaper to purchase, allowing businesses to get up and running quickly and at a lower cost than traditional on-premise apps. As the provider handles software maintenance and rolling out new upgrades, businesses can reduce the time and cost associated with keeping up to date.
Reduced maintenance on user’s end
SaaS subscribers don’t need to worry about the cost and complexity associated with software updates and maintenance. As these are handled by the provider, there is no need for IT teams to worry about patching, configuring and securing applications every time an upgrade is released.
Pay-as-you-go pricing model
Unlike traditional software subscriptions, SaaS can typically be paid for ‘pay-as-you-go’, depending on the business’s needs. This allows businesses to invest in the most cost-effective solution, rather than spending a large amount of money up front.
When it comes to cloud applications, it is important to consider the security implications of accessing data off-site. Here are some of the most important security considerations to take into account:
The multi-tenant nature of SaaS means that multiple businesses may be sharing the same software platform. It is therefore essential that businesses check what security measures their provider has taken to protect data from other users.
Backup & data protection
Businesses should ensure their provider can guarantee the protection of the data that resides in the cloud. This means ensuring the provider has redundancy measures in place in case of system downtime or disaster.
Businesses should also ensure their provider has taken steps to meet all relevant compliance regulations, such as database security and privacy legislation. Understanding the requirements of the applicable regulations will help businesses stay compliant.
Industries where SaaS is used
SaaS has been embraced by a number of industries across the globe, including:
- Banking and financial services
- Online learning
- Virtual classrooms
- Medical record management
- Clinical decision support
- Supply-chain management
- Inventory and asset tracking
- Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
- Mobile commerce
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Point of sale (POS) applications
SaaS offers businesses unrivalled flexibility, convenience and cost-effectiveness, making it a popular choice for those looking to get the most out of their investments. With the provider charged with ensuring the safety and security of the software, businesses can focus on what’s important – growing their business – without having to worry about the complexities of software installation and maintenance.