Introduction to Software as a Service (SaaS):
Hey! Are you looking out for a genuine software distribution model with the involvement of third parties for hosting the applications? Are you feeling saturated enough to the maintenance and the installation process of the software prior to their specific usage on the system? Do you wish to acquire a vital cloud computing model for hosting your software and access them directly over the internet?
Here comes the solution to all the above queries in terms of the Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud computing model. SaaS model helps customers access the software over the internet in coordination with the concerned service providers. The data center of the service providers is responsible for software hosting purposes and making them available to the customers via their web browsers.
It automatically avoids the unnecessary installation of the software over the system. The direct access of the on-demand software via the internet resolves all such hassles of the customers. The software model cuts the unwanted purchasing costs and thereby removes the burden of their installation on the system. It becomes the service provider’s responsibility to provide only genuine software to the customers on time.
There exists significant importance of SaaS in numerous business applications. Accounting, Human Resource (HR) Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), E-Mail Management, Content Management, etc are a few of the application areas of this cloud computing model. Following the versatility of the service, there remains a countless number of SaaS vendors all across the world. However, salesforce.com tops the list of all the available vendors as it firstly disrupted the global applicability of the traditional software systems.
Key Features and Specifications of SaaS Computing Model:
- It is mandatory for the users to pay a monthly rental against the accessed services. The service providers may even charge the fees based on the total services consumed.
- In case of dissatisfaction, the users can instantly stop the services and stop paying further rentals.
- The SaaS service providers provide the flexibility of using the same account by multiple users at a time.
- It is never essential to stay connected to the workplace for accessing the services. Instead, the users can use the functionalities even remotely with the help of web browsers.
- There exists a single data center for the available services by the providers. The customers never need to struggle with the technical troubleshooting but get a complete readymade solution.
- The technical requirements are never a hassle to deal with. The SaaS-enabled environment provides cross-platform and cross-browser functionality, and act in a robust nature all the way.
- The individuals get dedicated support for complete technical troubleshooting and software upgrades at the provider’s side. It is never necessary to pay any additional charges for the purpose.
Examples of Software as a Service (SaaS):
It is one of the super revolutionary customer relationship management suites for global businesses. The customers get the flexibility to access to manage, control, analyze, and monitor the entire business happening from a single dashboard.
This cloud-based CRM tool never requires a dedicated IT professional for handling the technicalities. The tools cater to troubleshoot the complexities under the domains including sales, marketing, business management analytics, and several others. It is one of the greatest examples of SaaS implementation under the category.
G Suite integrates numerous SaaS applications including the cloud-based apps for personal and business purposes. The apps include Gmail, Docs, Hangout, Drive, Calendar, Form, etc to name a few.
Almost all the G Suite applications are available completely for free with sufficient project management functionalities. The real-time handling and management of apps such as Google Drive help understand the versatility of the SaaS-enabled feature. The users can edit, store, and share the files in real-time using it.
Amazon Web Services:
Expanding the wings to provide the on-demand availability of the cloud-based IT services, Amazon moved beyond the traditional eCommerce services.
Under the banner of Amazon Web Services, the company commits to deliver the SaaS-enabled services including analytics, networking, data storage, database management, Internet of Things (IoT), etc to name a few. The company surrounds around 70 such services by the effective deployment of this iconic technology.
It really becomes a big hassle for the office employees to travel frequently and streamline financial expenses. Submitting the paper bills and putting the explanation for the expenses seem irritating.
This software resolves such issues by letting the employees schedule the travel plans as per their requirements. It even makes sure that the entire business expenses fall at the office’s spending limit.
The reconciliation of the expenses after the travel completion and delivering the entire airline/ foods, or the hotel rentals to the digital reports is even a great part of the software. The promotion of digital transactions and maintaining accuracy increases reduces the time and eradicates the use of paper documents.
- Microsoft Office 365:
Either the office going employee, or an entrepreneur, everyone requires the greatest Microsoft staples including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
The cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 now helps the individuals to create the documents as well as edit them in real-time even from their handheld devices. Even the Android and the iOS-enabled gadgets provide such features with numerous flexibilities.
Also, the successful establishment of the video calls encrypts with the software without any fear of unwanted hacking like activities. Get going anytime, prepare the presentations, account the spreadsheet, and move along the way. There will be no more barriers to stop you from working on your ways towards success.
Adding more to the above-mentioned names, there can be Zendesk, DocuSign, Dropbox, Slack, Shopify, Creative Cloud, HubSpot, like SaaS-based applications. The purpose of all such apps is to provide compatibility to the users by providing their online accessing benefits with added features and specifications.
Pros of Software as a Service (SaaS):
The SaaS computing model has been successful in taking over the traditional method of software purchasing and installation. The approach seems positive towards the unnecessary economic burden due to the accessing capability up to the desired period of usage.
There stand no more hassles to deal with the technical aspects prior to using the software. One can start the usage instantly for boosting the businesses. The distinguished sets of advantages inclining the companies to adopt the SaaS services are hereby listed with the following points:-
Reduction in costing:
Software as a Services (SaaS) requires the involvement of third parties to rent their services for the good sake of successful business functioning.
This reduces the heavy investment of purchasing and installing the software bundled inside the systems. Even the consumers need to pay the billings based on the subscription charges and as per the usage.
Subscription costing even includes software upgrades, maintenance, and needful customer care support to deal with troublesome situations. As the subscription charges are levied every single month, therefore this SaaS computing model never requires the users to pay a huge upfront charge.
The traditional software’s license permits users to access the features under limited circumstances. Generally, users can use such software only from a limited number of devices.
SaaS offers flexibility in accessing the software via any device with an internet connection at any time. This flexibility expands the independence of the users to work with the software without any barriers. The work continues even during the business trip, family vacations, and entire unofficial hours.
In case the business expands and it requires the appointment of an additional workforce, it is never necessary to purchase the server space or the software license.
The only requirement is the upgrade of the already existing plan for the upcoming users. The scalability even permits the users to scale down their subscription costs as per the situations. It is never a compulsion for the users to continue with the already existing plan for the long term.
Automatic software updates:
SaaS favors automatic updates of the software rather than the manual activities. The entire technological phenomenon proceeds automatically concerning the applications.
There exist no more hassles even for non-technical individuals. The service provider takes care of all such system upgrades and installation process.
Multiple device compatibility:
SaaS working model permits the users to access the software via a range of devices with the different operating systems. Similar to location independence, the SaaS working model functions in this case as well.
No matter whether the person is sitting inside the office, or home, the independence to work with different devices eases the task and improves work productivity.
Unlike traditional software, SaaS software solutions only need a web browser and an internet connection to function smoothly. As soon as these setups are ready, you can initiate the working process.
The traditional software, on the other hand, may take even months for deployment. Even, the system needs the newer software at regular intervals. However, SaaS is completely automated with the service providers.
The users never access any guarantee while proceeding ahead with the traditional software. With the SaaS cloud, one fetches the appropriate service guarantee for the long term period.
In case there arrives any lag in the commitment the service providers pay the needful penalty without affecting the users. It is one of the finest sides of using this working model for businesses.
Scheduled backup and data recovery:
The traditional software never performs the backup and data recovery like proceedings without the implementation of an expensive automation solution.
However, the SaaS solution allows the scheduled backup of the software automatically without the intervention of any user. The process even favors up to mark data integration in this regard without any issues.
Enhanced security level:
The data centers working on behalf of the SaaS service providers provide an encrypted level of security in comparison to the traditional software. More secure the individual’s information least will be the chances of unwanted hacking activities.
Greatest rates of system adoption:
The aspects of a SaaS solution lets the users work via the internet. As most of us are already using the internet for our businesses, we never need specialized training to operate comfortably in this environment. This results in the highest adoption rates by users all across the world for smoother business outflow.
In addition to the above-mentioned points, the SaaS computing model provides the easiest management functionality over the internet. The vendor deals with all the technical issues without letting the users feel stressed at all. The tenants like us only need to purchase the subscription for a certain time period and upgrade or downgrade the same as and when necessary. Even, no hardware requirements are there.
Cons of Software as a Service (SaaS):
Despite the countless benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS) model, there exist some shortcomings as well. Let us understand them with the following sets of points:-
The factor of latency:
As there exist data distance between the end-users and the SaaS cloud, this factor arises as a serious disadvantage. The interaction process with the applications can cause serious hurdles in this regard leading to customer dissatisfaction.
The functioning of the entire SaaS applications depends upon the availability of internet connectivity. Hence, it is mandatory to have consistent internet connectivity with the best quality. Better the connectivity, improved will be the interaction with the cloud applications in real-time.
Data mobility issues:
There exists a group of startups in the field of SaaS having no prior experience in the field. In case of dissatisfaction, the user wishes to switch towards other service providers but the situation to transfer the entire system data becomes a hassle. It is therefore mandatory to completely decide the experienced service providers before choosing such a SaaS computing model.
Occasional low performance:
As compared to the software executing on any particular system, this browser-based software solution approach sometimes seems low performing. There exists the issue of slow execution during complicated operations. The company needs to invest in the premium quality establishment of a reliable internet connection to resolve this trust issue. It sometimes becomes costlier to have such a setup without any necessity.
Issues in proper software integration:
The in house software fetches the integration issues with the external SaaS software. This requires the scheduled compatibility checks at regular intervals for getting the results up to mark. The checks will see towards the needful software integration of the concerned data structures and APIs with the SaaS setups.
Limited applications range:
Even if SaaS is gaining worldwide recognition due to enhanced functionalities, there still exist several applications that seem out of its radar. Several applications do not favor the hosted environment and prefer localized governance to fetch their outstanding benefits.
In addition to the above, there exist the issues of data encryption and security, service provider dependence, along with the internal technical adjustment issues. However, there still exists the remedy for most of the mentioned disadvantages, letting people choose this iconic SaaS computing solution for long term business.
To sum up, SaaS systems seem to perform excellently with respect to all the existing cloud computing options. However, there even exist some downsides that need to be successfully addressed before getting to choose this software management platform.
The business systems with very limited, or even the diverse expansion can move towards opting to the SaaS solutions for the betterment of their businesses. They need not focus on the highly expensive cloud computing approach and concentrate on the benefits available with this system.
It is mandatory to properly understand and analyze the functionalities available with SaaS and match them accordingly with the business needs. Despite a few cons available with this approach, there exists a massive advantage that inclines even the experienced entrepreneurs to go with this approach without second thoughts. Go ahead with this revolutionary technology and explore the best ever experience.