SaaS, an abbreviation for Software as a Service, is a kind of cloud service through which consumers can access software appliactions over the internet. The vendor or the service provider hosts applications on “the cloud” for the clients, who use it for personal as well as professional purposes. Enterprises/ organizations make use of SaaS for a wide range of task like planning, tracking performance, accounting adn invoicing as well as for monitoring sales and communications.
Being closely related to on demand computing and application service provider (ASP) software delivery models, SaaS is similar to renting a software rather than purchasing it. Unlike the traditional software applications, which limits the number of devices/ users who can use the software, SaaS provides its users subscription for the software on a monthly basis. This way individuals and organizations do not have to make a purchase and can use the applications and save their files in the cloud, rather than on individual computer system.
Some of the major advantages of SaaS are:
1. Easy to use and adapt
Most of the SaaS offerings come with samples best practices guide, making it easier for the end-user to adapt it. The software testing functionality, proof of concepts and smooth migration features are some of the major reasons why SaaS is popular among its users. SaaS can in fact be used even for software testing in large environments. Also SaaS applications can be accessed from any device at any time; and as most people are familiar with how to make use of internet SaaS apps have high adoption rates with almost no learning curve period.
2. Less time consuming
Unlike the traditional software models, Software as a Service, is installed and configured beforehand. Due to this reason users can save a lot of time which is usually spent on software installation, configuration and deployment. For example: in a matter of few hours you can easily install, migrate, test and deploy your application and dedicate the time saved on strategy building aspects of your business.
3. Highly flexible for individuals as well as businesses
This is a major reason for the popularity of SaaS. Flexibilty is the key to success, and with SaaS users as well as organizations turn on ot modules which were not part of their original deployment. Also new applications can be easily integrated, worked on and added to a new cloud service without the painful procedure migration and integration of several business processes.
This is another reason why adapting SaaS has become the ‘in-thing’ among the corporate sector. Due to its lower infrastructure and maintenance costs, SaaS is seen as a budget friendly option by big IT firms as well as individual business units. With low hardware and software license costs one can easily invest their capital on other pressing requirements of their enterprise.
5. You get the best and the latest features
Once you switch to SaaS, you can very easily add an edge to your business with the latest as well as the best applciations and other related features.Unlike the traditional applications, SaaS seamlessly provides you with upgrades, updates as well as new functionalities as and when they are ready. This way the security issues, patches and bugs all will be taken care of without hassles of any kind.
This is the main rationale behind the popularity of SaaS among IT professionals as well as enterprises. Its multitenancy enables organizations to grow fast without replacing its costly infrastructure. IT professionals on the other hand can not only keep their IT budget on a lower-end but they can also use SaaS to off-load management of non-mission critical applications like the CRM and HR. Thus SaaS enables business managers to use the best in breed applications which deliver the latest in software functionalities as well as the most ‘happening’ capabilities like mobile and social – that too at low investment risk and greater flexibilty.