Saas: Software as a Service Features and Benefits
SaaS, which is an acronym for software as a service, is a software delivery model in which software and its associated data are hosted by a service provider and accessed remotely – normally via the Internet. A broad range of business applications are available, such as accounting, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and collaboration tools. Closely related to ASP (application service provider), a SaaS option is being offered or explored by most major software vendors today.
Saas is a relatively new form of technology that offers software applications in a new way. SaaS, which in most instances utilizes cloud computing capabilities, provides companies with a subscription-based software service they can access via the internet.
This service model delivers access to software applications for companies from a remotely hosted server that can be accessed from virtually anywhere. Therefore, regardless of where employees may be located, they can access their organizations software remotely. All they will need is the login information and an internet connection.
Applicable business applications
SaaS has become very common because of its ability to deliver solutions in a number of different areas:
HR software applications
- Content management
- Collaborative tools and software
- Accounting, finance and invoicing software
- Planning resources
While each one of these uses for SaaS continue to grow in demand, CRM solutions remains the largest market and is predicted to experience the most growth going forward. With the success of SaaS many companies have begun to adopt other technologies that are based on cloud computing such as:
IaaS: infrastructure as a service
- PaaS: platform as a service.
The features and benefits of Software as a Service adoption
SaaS and other hosted applications have changed the way that companies think about software. Purchasing software packages of licensing agreements are no longer the only option. Depending on the type of software and its intended use, organizations can select the software option that best suits their situation. While there is some concern with data security and compromising confidential information, companies continue to adopt SaaS at a high rate.
The following outlines some of the benefits that companies experience with software as a service:
It is suitable for all companies: Regardless of the industry or size of the company, SaaS is a relevant option. Sole proprietors, small and medium sized businesses, and larger corporations are all clients of SaaS providers.
- It is cost effective: Saas, in most cases, allows companies to have the same business functionality of purchasing a user licence for a software application, but for a better price. It is also flexible in terms of payment options because it is typically offered on a monthly fee basis and they do not have to pay a lump sum upfront for access. This allows companies to select a subscription length they are comfortable in and know will work with their budget.
- No hardware investment: Since SaaS is hosted remotely, users do not have to invest in any hardware or alter their current business system to accommodate new software applications.
- Ease of use: SaaS can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. Therefore, all users need is their login information to access the software and can access it from any computer of mobile device.
- No maintenance requirements: Companies do not have to worry about the installation, set up, or maintenance of the service as all of this is handled by the service provider.
- System upgrades: Everything will be updated automatically from the host server. Therefore, users will always have the latest version of the SaaS.
- Minimal downtime: Since the SaaS is hosted remotely, local power or internet outages will not affect user’s access to the software application.
- Easy integration: SaaS has a very high adoption rate and users ramp up to the system quickly with minimal issues.
- Customization: Many SaaS providers offer a number of customization options that organizations can integrate into their current system.
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