What is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?

The abbreviation SaaS is used very widely today and is a leader among cloud technologies that ensures digital solutions for the business sphere. In this article, we will analyze the peculiarities of such a model and consider its examples.

SaaS technology as a new business trend

To begin with, let’s understand what SaaS services are. This designation stands for Software as a Service and is a model of working with business applications in the form of Internet services. If we talk about the purpose of SaaS, what it is, and how it is implemented, it is necessary to pay attention to the specifics of the operation. The application itself is located on the server of the provider, and users access it using an Internet browser.

Another characteristic feature is that the software product is not bought, but rented. Thus, two points are solved at once. The first is to save on software. The second point is that as the application is constantly updated, there is access to the best functionality and wide possibilities. On the shoulders of the provider are the care of the program and the technical support of users. Thanks to free time, the company’s strengths can be focused on achieving its goals.

The history of SaaS

Where did SaaS software start? The answer to this question lies at the beginning of the computer age. Initially, because computers cost a lot of money, their capacity was rented out. On the one hand, this cannot be called a classic SaaS, because the work was carried out directly by technology, rather than using the global communication network. But as soon as the Internet entered the lives of the general population, the market was formed. It is believed that the offer of the program as a service was designed in the classical sense in 1997. And the acronym SaaS became attached to this in 2001.

SaaS services can provide a space for saving files (Dropbox), an office document package for work (Google Doc, Microsoft Office 365), help organize photos (Flickr), or communicate with other people (Facebook). One more example of SaaS is a virtual data room service for document and deal management.

SaaS model: pros and cons

Why do people abandon standard software? An explanation of these processes can give a list of benefits of SaaS development:

  • low cost of ownership;
  • short implementation times;
  • low threshold requirements for implementation (often supplemented by the possibility of a limited period of free use);
  • technical aspects such as support and updates fall on the shoulders of the provider;
  • user mobility in terms of using the program;
  • convenient to use geographically remote divisions of companies;
  • low requirements for computer characteristics;
  • the versatility of work on any corresponding equipment.

Unfortunately, this service is not completely perfect. And for completeness of a picture, it is necessary to pay attention and lacks. Unreliable access due to Internet interference, low speed, and transfer of commercially important data to a third party is usually referred to as such.

Because the main resource savings, in this case, are achieved through scale, the model is ineffective in cases where individual adaptation is required for each customer or innovative solutions are implemented. The PaaS concept solves this problem. Also, the SaaS platform is not used to its full potential because many potential users do not trust security mechanisms and fear the possible loss of information. That is why this model is not used for critical systems where confidential information is processed.