Digitalization has empowered working styles with software that manages everything accurately. All you need now is an internet connection and the ability to log into the system via a web browser. You can be on a desktop computer, phone, or PC; in your office, home, or at the airport, it does not matter, if you can connect to the Wi-Fi, you are connected to your work and people.
Cloud computing was one of the emerging technologies that have now become mainstream, and we use it every day without realizing it. From massive corporations to tiny shops, cloud-based software is the default operation method for almost any and every type of business technology in the world. One such mainstream is SaaS.
Let us explore and know more about SaaS.
What does SaaS mean?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is a method of software distribution that allows data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection and a web browser. It is a game-changer in the software industry as instead of installing and maintaining software, one can simply access it via the Internet, hence, freeing from multifaceted software and hardware management.
It is one of three main categories of cloud computing, along with infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the method of delivering computing infrastructure as on-demand services. IaaS allows dynamic scaling and resources are distributed as a service. Furthermore, it generally includes multiple users on a single piece of hardware.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud delivery model for applications composed of services managed by a third party. It offers elastic scaling for applications, further allowing the developers to build applications and services over the internet and operation including public, private, and hybrid.
It works through the cloud delivery model. A software provider will either host the application and related data using its servers, databases, networking, and computing resources, or an independent software vendor is hired by a cloud provider to host the application in the provider's data center. The application can then be accessible to any device with a network connection.
Therefore, companies using SaaS applications are not obliged to the setup and maintenance of the software. Users simply pay a subscription fee to gain access to the software, which is a ready-made solution.
the provider gives customers network-based access to a single copy of an application that the provider created specifically for SaaS distribution in the software-on-demand SaaS model. The application's source code is the same for all customers, and when new features or functionalities are released, they are rolled out to all customers. Depending upon the service-level agreement (SLA), the customer's data for each model could be stored locally, in the cloud, or both. Organizations get the privilege to integrate SaaS applications with other software using application programming interfaces (APIs).
Benefits of SaaS
SaaS eliminates the need for organizations to install and run applications on their computers or in their own data centers. This cancels the expense of hardware procurement, provisioning, maintenance, software licensing, installation, and support. Some other benefits of the SaaS model include:
- Easy payments: instead of purchasing software to install, or any additional hardware to support. Transitioning costs to a frequent operating expense allows many businesses to exercise better and more predictable budgeting.
- Accessible usage: Cloud services like SaaS offer high vertical scalability, which gives customers the choice to access more or lesser services or features on-demand.
- Automatic updates: Customers can rely on the SaaS provider to automatically perform updates and patch management. This further reduces the burden on the in-house IT staff.
- Convenience and persistence; Since SaaS vendors deliver applications over the internet, users can access them from any internet-enabled device and location.
- Customizations: SaaS applications are majority time customizable and can be integrated with other business applications, especially across applications from a common software provider.
The SaaS market includes a variety of software vendors and products. Industry players include single-product vendors to cloud giants such as Google and AWS.
SaaS products are diverse and range from video streaming services to IT business analytics tools. There are separate SaaS applications for fundamental business applications such as email, sales management, customer relationship management (CRM), finance management, human resource management, billing, and collaborations to name a few. The enterprise SaaS products for specific industries, such as insurance or medical, are categorized under the vertical SaaS products.
SaaS products may be primarily marketed to B2B, B2C markets, or both. Examples of popular SaaS products include Salesforce, Google Workspace apps, Microsoft 365, HubSpot, Trello, Netflix, Zoom, Zendesk, DocuSign, Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.
SaaS is capturing the cloud computing market. It is also predicted that the service-based cloud application industry will be worth billions by 2022 and this growth will help to shape the SaaS trends in the coming years.