What is Software as a Service(SaaS)
Software as a service (Saas) is a software usage model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is hosted in the cloud not installed on the user’s machine.
(Wikipedia)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_as_a_service describes SaaS as “is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.”
The major promise of SaaS is reduced IT costs in organizations that do not have a dedicated IT department or do not want to outsource to an independent IT company. By paying a sometimes single subscription cost per month organizations can have access and usage of world class software at a fraction of the price it would have taken to if they were to acquire such software proprietorially.
SaaS is software as service that is managed by the provider and the provider promises 100% up time of the software and constant improvements and upgrades of the SaaS without necessarily charging the user for a new feature to their software. This usually means that the cost of such improvements is shared by all the users of the SaaS and thus more economical.
Access to SaaS
SaaS is usually accessed using a thin client like a browser and it’s live on the internet not in the user’s organization’s network. This therefore means that the user must have access to a computer, internet connectivity and a suitable browser installed. Currently Google Chrome and Firefox are the leading browsers in the browser industry. There are other models of SaaS that would allow for some agent application to be locally installed on users’ machine and then connection to the SaaS is achieved through the agent application. The major different between SaaS that has a local agent application versus traditional software is storage of data and business logic. In SaaS with a local agent application all the processing, storage and business logic are hosted centrally in the cloud whereas with traditional software the processing, storage and business logic must be hosted within the user’s organisation’ network and thus require an IT department or outsourced partner to maintain the software.
Major Drawbacks of SaaS
One of the biggest drawbacks of SaaS has been inherited from the old traditional way in which software was acquired from a software vendor. The SaaS platforms are designed to accommodate all potential customers and therefore sometimes they do fail to meet a unique customer need. Depending on the SaaS model and subscription price some SaaS may allow you to modify the functionalities to better suit your business.