What is SaaS (Software as a Service)?

One of the newest trends in business software services is SaaS, an acronym for Software as a Service. This method of software distribution allows business owners to use software applications and services as they need them through licensing from an application provider. These services can be provided for a single use or for a contracted period, after which access to the service will have to be renewed or eliminated.

How Are SaaS Applications Obtained?

The vendors that supply SaaS applications will give the business owners two options for using their applications.

  • Having the applications hosted on the vendor's server, or
  • Allowing the business owner to download the application to their own devices.

In many cases the business chooses to use the applications while they are being hosted by the vendor's server and accessed through a web browser. This reduces the amount of resources that are used on the business's equipment and allows them to access the application from anywhere when needed.

Many companies choose to use SaaS applications because they consider the products to be a low cost alternative to purchasing expensive software platforms that may have additional applications that they do not need. It also allows the company to avoid having to license a number of different devices with all of the different applications that they may need, even if the application will only be used one or two times. With SaaS applications, the company has all of the benefits of procuring professional software applications with commercially licensed use without incurring the high cost of owning the entire software platform and installing the platform on every device.

The vendors that provide SaaS applications have the ability to control and limit the use of their products, ensuring that the business owners get exactly what they have paid for while allowing the vendor to make a profit from each usage of the applications that they provide. The centralized control that is exerted over the usage of the software applications ensures that the quality of the software applications will not be compromised by third parties and allows the business to limit the applications that they are paying for to the applications that will have a significant benefit for their business.

What Are The Characteristics Of SaaS Applications?

All SaaS applications have a number of qualities in common. All of the applications are managed from a central location instead of at each user’s individual location, allowing modifications and troubleshooting to be accomplished quickly by the application vendor and eliminating the need for end-user upgrades or patches. Each application is network based so that the business user can access the application remotely from any location that they choose using virtually any type of electronic device. The applications are generally priced on a pay-per-usage basis, allowing the business owner to forecast their budget for the number of applications and the number of uses that the business will actually need.