Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a service is a type of cloud computing. It is a licensing of software and delivery model. This software is present on external servers. Users can access software on a subscription basis. And can use it on the internet. Therefore, you do not have to install it on your device, again and again, using an external device. Just log in using your username and password to use the software. They are usually used from web browsers. Software as a service came into the picture with the growth of cloud computing. In cloud computing, you get various services through the internet. These services can be networking, data storage, and services.
Before SaaS, people used to buy compact disks (CDs) to update the software. But, now you can easily download new updates from the internet. But, if you are accessing through the web browsers you do not even have to install anything. It used to be very tiring for large organizations. They had to install updates using the software. Now they can download updates via the internet and purchase additional licenses. But, the initial installation of a few software is still done using CDs.
History of SaaS
In the late 1950s and early 60s, the development of a technique was a more cost-effective way of using expensive processors known as time-sharing. SaaS is loosely related to it. A few decades later, personal computers were readily available. But, it did not become popular among organizations. As the maintenance of hardware and software was not sufficient. The mid-90s saw the peak of the internet as e-commerce grew. This lead to the development of the online cloud. It allowed organizations to access software from the internet. In 1999, Salesforce became a star of the SaaS platform. They launched their Customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This inspired other big and small organizations. Soon, many joined SaaS. Now, many companies like Adobe, Salesforce, Shopify, etc are at the top.
Advantages of SaaS
SaaS has become an advantage for organizations. In this model, software companies do not require to invest more in hardware. Licensing companies do not have the software on their servers. This has eased the process of updating, implementing, and debugging the software. Here, you have to only pay to SaaS and do not require to purchase CDs for multiple devices. SaaS has various applications. These applications are email services, auditing functions, shearing company calendar, customer relationship management, shearing files, and automatic login for products and services. Organizations, where collaboration between various department take place especially when they are at various locations; opt for SaaS.
Disadvantages of SaaS
Like every coin has two sides, SaaS also has disadvantages. As the servers where the data is stored are not owned or present in the company itself, there are high chances of data theft. Security of user and company’s information is very important. But in SaaS, it can be a bit of a concern. Another problem that the users can face is connectivity with the server. If you are having a problem with the internet connection there are chances you would not be able to connect with the servers. As they are at a faraway distance. As SaaS is remote, it can lose control or customization.
Examples of SaaS:
You indirectly or directly use SaaS in your day-to-day life. Here are the examples that use SaaS.
- Salesforce.com – Pioneer in of the SaaS use. This customer relationship management company helps businesses with their customers. It collects information about customers, prospects, and authorized employees who can only access it.
- Dropbox – Logging from your account, you can access all the files from your business in a single place. You can share, store and collaborate. Use it from anywhere.
- Google Services – Google docs, spreadsheet, presentation, forms, etc. are interlinked. Make it in collaboration or shared and stored on google drive. So you can also share company calendars, professional emails, and video meetings.
- Microsoft Office 365 – Microsoft has spread its wings by entering cloud computing. Now, not only does it have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint but you can also share data, have video calls, and connect with your customers and colleagues easily.
Know more about SaaS
As-a-service is divided into three parts. First is SaaS, where users can use subscription software services through the internet. So the second is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), where users get access to servers, storage, memory, etc. The third is a Platform as a Service, where it helps users to create software without worrying about storage and infrastructure. You can also do SaaS marketing. Where you use regular marketing practices and you will get leads from cloud-based applications. Few SaaS companies use monthly subscriptions. For the monthly recurring revenue is important. It is simply the multiplication of average revenue per customer with the total number of customers per given month.
Also read: What is blockchain technology?