11th May 2021
What is SaaS? Nine things you should know about Software as a Service
Software-as-a-Service provides access to applications through an internet connection. The products are hosted centrally, maintained and kept up-to-date by a SaaS provider.
Typically used for business purposes, SaaS works more as a rental product than the traditional server build with on-premise installation and configuration. Essentially it can be looked at as a pay-as-you-use service.
SaaS is different from traditional products as it is ready-to-go. The software is already installed and configured, so the application can be ready far quicker through cloud access.
SaaS saves time traditionally spent installing and configuring on-premise and reduces the troubleshooting problems that can arise with software deployment.
Beneficial cost savings can be made with SaaS as it typically sits in a shared environment (enabling multiple users access to the application and its resources). This means the hardware and software license costs are lower than a traditional model.
The avoidance of high cost licensing means smaller and medium-sized businesses can afford software that would typically be overlooked due to high costs – meaning SaaS products can be rapidly scaled.
Due to the spread of users SaaS providers generally offer lower maintenance and update costs too, as they are split across multiple customers.
Integrating and scaling SaaS products is far easier than traditional options because of their cloud-based nature. Being cloud based means no new software or server purchasing is required, and new offerings can simply be enabled.
This means SaaS is super flexible, both for the provider and the end users, allowing scalability dependent on requirements (scaling up and back).
Users benefit from upgrades to solutions as SaaS providers implement them. When looking at traditional solutions, upgrades generally come as an add-on or package that comes at an extra cost – which then in turn requires on-premise/disruptive installation.
Users buy-in to SaaS products that are already fully functioning and have been widely-tested in advance. End users typically get the opportunity to test new releases in advance too, so concepts are more familiar once they become available.
SaaS offerings enable multiple version testing too, opposed to a one-size fits all rollout.
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