Software as a Service (SaaS)

saasSoftware as a Service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. Today, it depends entirely on the Web and only requires a web browser to use. Through a web browser a thin client is used to access SaaS. Gamification, virtualization, CAD software are examples of business applications delivered through SaaS.

In addition, SaaS is a multi-tenant architecture where the application serves many users and businesses and there is partitioning of data is being used of late. Furthermore, horizontal scaling is utilized in which a particular application version is on multiple machines.

Selling Points

  • Reductions in IT support expenses through outsourcing software and hardware maintenance to the service provider.
  • The initial cost is lower compared to corresponding enterprise software. A subscription fee is used to price the applications. Certain usage parameters are also used.e.g. Number of users that might be using the application. Some SaaS applications are free.
  • The service provider has access to information about client behavior making it possible to improve the application proactively.
  • The single configuration version used for all clients enable faster development testing.
  • Design and regression testing is expedited with the availability of user data.
  • The single version also ensures there are no backdated versions of the software that need to be maintained and updated thus saving on resources.

Software development methods that are agile enable accelerated delivery of features. Saas applications offer integration protocols and application programming interfaces (API) that function over a wide area network.

Lightweight applications which combine functionality, facts and figures as well as presentation from multiple services are known as Mashups. They differentiate on-premise software from Saas applications as the former cannot be easily integrated outside a company’s firewall. Features that let its users share information and collaborate are offered by SaaS applications.

Examples of SaaS applications

Human Resource Management

There are time and labor management applications accessible via the internet that allow for accurate data capturing from any data collection terminal. They facilitate calculation of benefit entitlements, labor distribution and staff scheduling.

Business intelligence

They enable an organization to gain more value from information therefore resulting in better decision making. An advanced online tool is used to monitor internal metrics presenting a conclusive view of your business. To maintain a competitive edge against competition a comparison is done.

Sales Force Automation

Used to manage contacts, enable customer support and schedule activities.

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