Software as a Service, also known as SaaS, is an application delivery system over the internet. E-mail was one of the first application offered in this manner. For business, the early innovations were things like recruitment, customer relations management, and expenses. SaaS has become a widely-used business model with more and more different kinds of applications available via the cloud.
The ability to get applications up and running very quickly is one of the attractions of SaaS. In-house IT projects can be quite complex and can take a lot of time to set up and implement. A major credit card company’s head of marketing was "like a kid in a candy store when told it would take only five weeks to get a cloud application running. IT had originally quoted 18 months", according to the Harvard Business Review.
Using packaged or in-house software means that you have to shop around and evaluate, purchase, install, keep secure, maintain, and regularly upgrade. This places an added burden on your IT team, with the possibility of projects getting back-logged and not done on time. Integration of the various applications could be tricky and time consuming. SaaS comes as a relief.
SaaS keeps growing and more businesses are turning to this model for their applications. The growing use of mobiles in business has taken great advantage of Software as a Service. You no longer have to be in the office to be able to access your work. The increase in the standard internet connectivity speeds makes working remotely a lot easier these days. Files can be synced, as well, so when you return to the office you can continue on your computer as if you had never left.
The standardisation of digital technologies makes it easier to integrate and share cloud-based programs and services. These common protocols allow users to work on multiple devices, all the while having a better experience. More and more users are happy to work in this way thanks to the familiarity, usability and simplicity of web-like environments.
Having no software or hardware to purchase, install, maintain or update makes SaaS very attractive to many businesses. As a user, there’s little to do until you actually start using the software. Familiar web-based interfaces is a major draw to SaaS, building on the consumer web that users already know. Updates are often made regularly so there is no need to put IT resources into maintenance. The ability to work, in real time, either remotely or with others who are located elsewhere is a big draw for businesses towards SaaS.
As computing systems increase in sophistication and power, SaaS has kept pace, moving up from simple single applications and becoming a practical approach for large or enterprise-scale solutions. The benefits of SaaS are many. The service costs are scaled, depending on the size of your business and the number of applications you need and the number of people who will be working on them. If you have offices across the country or the globe, everyone in your company can access the same applications and the same data, at the same time.
The future of SaaS will see even more growth in the industry. The cloud approach can help companies develop end-to-end integrated solutions and allow them to concentrate on what they do best, leaving a wide range of hardware and software IT issues to service providers. Long-term relationships with SaaS will grow and the input from you, their customers, will help to make Software as a Service even better. Understanding customer’s needs and being able to deliver solutions is placing SaaS as the go-to service for many businesses.