Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based software that allows you to connect to and use the cloud-based application via the Internet. SaaS is a software distribution model hosted by a cloud service provider. These services are open to end-users over the Internet. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you access it on the Internet. It is also known as hosted software.
The clients can use the software without being concerned about computing devices or other money and time-consuming tasks. SaaS examples: Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Sheets, Hangouts, etc.
However before we begin, do not confuse SaaS with PaaS (Platform as a Service). We will not get into the debate between SaaS vs PaaS and we will strictly be talking about SaaS, it's pros and cons along with the services it provides for us.
SaaS has the following benefits:
• No need for software installation
• Cloud Storage
Online Data center
• Accessed by any device
• Data sharing simple and effectively between users
• Highly advanced software used almost immediately
Common SaaS scenarios
Email service such as Outlook, Hotmail, or Gmail uses SaaS. With these services, you log into your account, the Email software located on the service provider's network, and your messages are stored there as well. You can access Email and use it from a web browser on any Internet-connected device.
Popular SaaS Providers
The table below shows some popular SaaS providers and services:
|Salesforce.com||On-demand CRM Solution|
|Microsoft Office 365||Offline office suite|
|Google Apps||Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, and sites|
|NetSuite||ERP, accounting, order management, CRM, Professionals Services Automation (PSA), and e-commerce applications.|
|GoToMeeting||Online meeting and video-conferencing software|
|Constant Contact||Email marketing, online survey, and event marketing|
|Oracle CRM||CRM applications|
|Workday, Inc||Human capital management, payroll, and financial management|
What is the history of SaaS?
In 1961 MIT student John McCarthy, a renowned computer scientist that won the Turing prize for his work in artificial intelligence (AI), said, "computation may someday regulate as a public utility." In other words, the concept of cloud computing started as a shared source of computing power.
While the concept has been around for some time, the web-based technology required to support SaaS matured in the late 90s. Some enterprise software of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), issued through the SaaS model.
At first, the enterprise software system didn't take SaaS seriously. The past decade has shown rapid SaaS growth and adoption with a distinct set.
Advantages of SaaS
• SaaS is easy to buy
Based on a monthly fee or annual fee subscription. So, it allows organizations to access business practicality at minimum cost, which is less than licensed applications.
• One to Many
SaaS services offered as a one-to-many model means multiple users a single instance of the application.
• Less hardware required as SaaS
The software hosting is remote, so organizations do not need to invest in extra hardware.
• Low maintenance required for SaaS
SaaS removes the need for installation, set-up, and maintenance. The initial set-up cost for SaaS is less than the enterprise software. The price tag is set according to the usage of a parameter, like the number of users using applications. So, SaaS does monitor and automatic updates.
• Multidevice support
Access to SaaS service from devices such as desktops, phones, and laptops makes it easy to use.
• API integration:
SaaS easily integrates with other software through standards APIs. The main reason for SaaS popularity is its easier API use.
• Use free client software:
Users can run most SaaS apps directly from a web and web apps browser without downloading and installing any software. Some apps require plugins.
Disadvantages of SaaS
• Network Security
SaaS gives data store in the cloud security may be an issue for many users. However, cloud computing is not more secure than in-office deployment.
• Latency issue
Data and applications stored in the cloud, there is a chance of delay when communicating with the application compared to local deployment. Therefore, the SaaS model is not suitable for applications whose response time in milliseconds.
• Total Dependency on Internet
Without an internet link, most SaaS applications are not usable.
Cloud Computing services are changing how businesses and institutions use information technology. Today cloud services are ready to meet almost any IT needs. There are four types of cloud computing services.
Data recovery which could also be called as disaster recovery
1) Software as a Service (SaaS)
2) Platform as a Service (PaaS)
3) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
4) Desktop as a Service (DaaS).
Small information on the remaining three topics:
The provided service is a program that allows users to develop, manage and run applications through the Internet.
The provided service is a complete infrastructure available through the Internet containing networks, servers, operating systems.
The provided service is a desktop environment that is available through the Internet.
In Conclusion, we have seen the benefits offered by SaaS platforms. When compared to traditional solutions, the SaaS platform has flexibility.