Cloud Software as a Service SaaS - Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. Software as a service is available to the users when they are in the cloud environment. The major advantage of the cloud is that no installation, upgradation of software and its licenses are needed by the user. The service provider takes up this task. The user just logs in and uses the facility without worrying about what is happening at the backend. The user makes use of this service in addition to a charge. So in other words user is renting the service.
The applications are hosted in “the cloud” and can be used for a wide range of tasks for both individuals and organisations. Google, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr are all examples of SaaS, with users able to access the services via any internet enabled device. Enterprise users are able to use applications for a range of needs, including accounting and invoicing, tracking sales, planning, performance monitoring and communications (including webmail and instant messaging).
Currently, the use of software as a service has enabled many companies to maximize their output. This is because the use of the service has more advantages than disadvantages. There is higher adoption of software on the go service since the applications are available for any computer or any devices at anytime and anywhere. With SaaS, the initial costs are also lower since there are no licence fees. The popularity of SaaS has been increasing with each day because it simplifies the deployment and reduces the customer acquisition costs making it a reliable way to curry out business transactions and also manage the whereabouts of all the company members.
There are a number of reasons why SaaS is beneficial to organisations and personal users alike:
No additional hardware costs : the processing power required to run the applications is supplied by the cloud provider.
No initial setup costs : applications are ready to use once the user subscribes.
Pay for what you use : if a piece of software is only needed for a limited period then it is only paid for over that period and subscriptions can usually be halted at any time.
Usage is scalable : if a user decides they need more storage or additional services, for example, then they can access these on demand without needing to install new software or hardware.
Updates are automated : whenever there is an update it is available online to existing customers, often free of charge. No new software will be required as it often is with other types of applications and the updates will usually be deployed automatically by the cloud provider.
Cross device compatibility : SaaS applications can be accessed via any internet enabled device, which makes it ideal for those who use a number of different devices, such as internet enabled phones and tablets, and those who don’t always use the same computer.
Accessible from any location : rather than being restricted to installations on individual computers, an application can be accessed from anywhere with an internet enabled device.
Applications can be customised and whitelabelled : with some software, customisation is available meaning it can be altered to suit the needs and branding of a particular customer.
Easier collaboration : as all users will use the same version of software.
Easier administration and Global accessibility.
The major drawback is relying on the efficiency of the service provider. If there is any trouble on the vendor side, your work gets halted. If the license is not acquired, and if the upgrade is not done on timely basis, your work gets affected.
By using the SaaS model, enterprises ensure that all locations are using the correct application software version and the format of the information being recorded and conveyed is accurate. By placing responsibility for the application with an outside company, the SaaS model allows enterprises to reduce the management burden for corporate applications, increase the availability of the applications to their locations, and gain the confidence that all application transactions are logged for compliance audits.