Software as a Service or the popularly referred SaaS is just a new class of centralized computing methodology called Application Service Providers (ASP) that existed back in 1990s. Although the concept of centralized hosting and computing dates back to 1960s and isn't anything new, there's something really better and more benefiting with SaaS as compared to the earlier computing concepts.
SaaS is a software licensing and delivery model which is known to deliver computing applications 'in the cloud' or through cloud computing.
So, what's cloud computing?
"There was a time when every household, town, farm or village had its own water well. Today, shared public utilities give us access to clean water by simply turning on the tap; cloud computing works in a similar fashion. Just like water from the tap in your kitchen, cloud computing services can be turned on or off quickly as needed. Like at the water company, there is a team of dedicated professionals making sure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isn't on, not only are you saving water, but you aren't paying for resources you don't currently need" - Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO, United States Government.
Cloud computing symbolizes the transformation from a typical on-premises software deployment to deployment via vendors through the internet. Today, organizations no longer require buying, setting up and maintaining complicated IT infrastructures. Instead, they can plug-in and subscribe services of vendors to access a shared readily available infrastructure via internet.
Hence, these cloud based offerings have a lot to offer to the businesses and as a result are on an all-time high demand. Last year the market for SaaS applications witnessed an enormous 20% hike. This shows how rapidly the SaaS model is flourishing and is definitely one of the reasons that businesses should consider investing in SaaS.
“If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.” says Mr.Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com
SaaS brings simplification, access and affordability together so that the businesses can now have access to complicated software and IT infrastructural components easily and at lower costs. It is for this reason that today even the large-scale enterprises like SAP, Oracle are adopting the SaaS model.
SaaS applications for business are getting popular these days and here are the main reasons for it.
Significant Drop in The Costs
With SaaS, you are investing in business infrastructure or software that does not demand you any initial, upfront and management costs on the whole. Based on pay-as-you go-model, SaaS fees are based on the actual use. Here you are not required to get licensed software or support instances of your software/infrastructure. You are not required to pay for the hardware that hosts the applications. No arduous installation processes, no wastage of money or management time. All are managed by the vendors on your behalf while you take the benefits of the service.
With traditional set-ups, businesses required to buy hardware and software for their functioning requirements and had to wait for the complete infrastructural setup. But, with SaaS, the setup time drops from weeks or months to just a few hours or days or less. Here, hardware or software setup is not required and is just about renting. Hence, no more delays.
Here the business users have access to ready-to-use applications which are available through cloud that can be accessed instantly.
Easy to Adapt with Changes and Demands
Compared to the traditional on-premise solution, it's easy scaling a SaaS based solution. Not only scaling up, it also makes scaling down easier for the retailers who require added resources to meet the peak workloads at few times of the year. In such a case, planning and investing in traditional software to meet workloads for just short span of time can prove to be costlier for the retailers. Hence, SaaS model is a better fit option for scalability requirements.
Apart from scalability, SaaS proves worthy to meet the changing requirements of the businesses. With upgrading software and increasing competition, businesses require to upgrade their systems with regular software and hardware upgrades. As compared to traditional model where the users are required to buy the new software or hardware for the changing requirements, SaaS model allows for changing up to the latest subscriptions and that's it.
SaaS software applications are hosted on the cloud and can be easily accessed from anywhere over internet through mobile devices. Hence, a business person can access their critical business information from anywhere and can easily work around even when away from the workplace. Hence, no longer interruption in your business tasks due to travelling or moving around.
SaaS applications are currently witnessing high adoption rates among the businesses. They offer seamless integration and customization capabilities to meet the varying needs of the businesses that too at lower costs and painless upgrade processes. It simplifies software and hardware deployment, reduces customer acquisition costs and scales faster, thereby benefiting businesses apparently.
So, SaaS or cloud computing is going viral these days. If you are looking to set up your business infrastructure make sure you adopt SaaS model for all the above benefits.