Software as a Service (SaaS) is an approach to software delivery. It simply permits data access from any device with the availability of an internet connection. In SaaS model, vendors maintain and host servers as well as databases. It is entirely different from on-premise software due to data flow and other reasons. In Software as a Service (SaaS)
model, there is no need to invest separately on special hardware purchase. There is also no need to hire special IT staff for software maintenance and installation. It saves organizational investment because vendors are required to take care of all software related responsibilities.
As discussed earlier, SaaS is quite different from on-premise software solutions due to a variety of reasons. Some of the major factors are enlisted below:
- It could be accessed remotely through web-based applications
- Pricing model of SaaS is dependent on required features
- There is no need to purchase own license for off-premise software
- SaaS model permit buyer to pay monthly and annual subscriptions
History of Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service owns an interesting history over previous 40 years. In 1961 John McCarthy (computer scientist) during his speech to MIT students, said: “computation may someday be organized as a public utility.” Initially it SaaS or cloud computing was simply called as “time-sharing system”. It includes multiple terminals that were simply connected to a mini or mainframe computer. All of the applications as well as data maintained and stored on the mainframe. This system allowed the government entities, SMBs, and educational institutes to access modern machines with a cost-effective approach. This model was continued during the 1970s and 1980s. During this time frame payroll, CRM and finance software was the significant products of SaaS model.
During the 1980s and 1990s, prices of machines were eventually reduced. Along with the businessman now an employee can also afford to have their own computers. The need for time-sharing systems was gradually lower down. By understanding the situation SaaS industry adopted a new approach. This new approach was to maintain connectivity through Local Area Network (LAN). In this approach, applications were hosted on employee’s local computers but important data is kept to a central server. People need to connect this network to access those applications and data. LAN could be called as an earlier form of cloud computing.
In the late 1990s, the era of dot-com was at the boom. Large and small organizations found no need to relay LAN anymore. They start realizing the worth of off-site data storage through the internet. That was called Application Service Provider (ASP) by the organizations. The major issues were data security and organizational trust.
That was a time of Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors. They introduced the idea subscriptions licensing model instead of single-use license. This idea got popularity and businesses start earning revenue with these services. Whether we call in cloud computing or SaaS model, it is growing up with the passage.
How to Make Selection among SaaS & On-Premise?
This is a question that business owner tends to ask while upgrading to a software solution. Before answering this question it is crucial to determine business complexity. Software as a Service (SaaS) is usually recommended to SMBs. They usually look around for most reliable software solution that might reduce upfront expenses. SaaS solutions are quite cost-effective and efficiently handle requirements for SMBs. Currently, they’re also working to handle the complexities of large businesses. SaaS is offering most consistent services for SMBs as like on premise. SaaS is recommended to SMBs because it is working to minimize functionality breaches. SaaS is undeniably a good solution for your business. But in order to make the right decision and best choice, it is necessary to understand your business requirements and complexity. Understanding your own need and finalizing the list of features enable a business to make a long-term decision.
Customizable Software as a Service (SaaS) Solution
Initially, customization of SaaS was not possible. But today’s SaaS software could be customized according to business requirement and features. In fact, the vendor pays attention to business features and requirement to consult a right solution for their business. SaaS vendor pays special attention to drive best fit available solution for any organization.
On the other hand, buyers are also allowed to make limited customization by themselves. They may make few changes in UI customization and other specific areas. They are also allowed to turn on and off limited futures for their businesses. These are flexible enough solutions, limited access for users could also be customized within the software. SaaS vendor prefers to provide an application for a customized solution.
Cloud computing is actually a set of exceptionally complex infrastructure technology. It is a complete collection of networked computers, databases, and servers. Buyer is permitted to occupy to access collective power. Buyer may dynamically increase or decrease the ratio of computing power because it is scalable. While Software as a Service (SaaS) refers precisely to software applications for business that usually delivered through the cloud.
Software as a Services is rapidly adopting by the SMBs that support in continues business growth. Cloud may refer to a software solution that usually hosted remotely and delivered through an internet access. On the other hand, all of the programs execute with the support of SaaS software.