How Software as a Service works
SaaS – software as a service – is a way of delivering apps over the internet. The applications provided by different tech companies are intended for performing a wide variety of tasks, remotely, via computer or mobile devices.
Hiring and canceling services at any time has never been easier than now, thanks to SaaS (Software as a Service).
The introduction of SaaS was a true revolution in the user consumption model and in the way how brands are making their solutions available.
Many prominent companies are primarily using SaaS. They take advantage to increase profits and reduce costs.
In this article, you can find out how SaaS works and what benefits your business can enjoy.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is a way to deliver systems and applications over the Internet, to store and manipulate data. A SaaS platform does not require users to purchase, install, and maintain software and hardware, as everything is available online.
The service provider takes full responsibility for updates and access management, including information security, availability, and performance.
The difference between PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS?
IaaS is Infrastructure as a Service.
- Server infrastructure – specialized equipment that is intended for collecting, processing, and storing big amounts of information.
- Virtual servers (VPS/VDS) that can be used to install different programs. Sometimes a provider offers servers together with operational systems in order to deploy necessary apps faster.
- Network settings that ensure the connection of virtual servers with each other, with external servers that are owned by a customer, and with the Internet. Among them we should mention:
- the availability of servers for each other and the external network, routing of servers’ network connections;
- load balancers that prevent the overloading of servers by distributing incoming traffic between them;
- VPN, a technology of encryption of data that will be transmitted by a company from its physical data center to a cloud;
- User access management. For example, you can restrict access to some particular virtual machines or allow viewing data but prohibit editing.
- Cloud storage for keeping files, data, and backups. From simple cloud disks that some users deal with they differ by practically unlimited storage space and high speed of getting access to data.
- Backup and disaster recovery servers that help your infrastructure to stay resilient to failures and data losses when separate units fail.
By renting IaaS you get virtual servers, network settings, and cloud storage that a service provider is responsible for. At the same time, you get access to an operational system of virtual servers and more freedom in setting up and installing apps.
PaaS is a Platform as a Service.
A key difference between PaaS from IaaS is that here you have some particular tools. For example, a database management system, machine learning, big data processing environment, and enterprise IoT. They should be set up in accordance with the company’s needs but you do not need to build them from scratch. It allows for saving developers’ time. For example, engineers do not need to develop a database. It will be enough just to add the necessary information and work with it.
And in this case, you do not have access to an operational system, settings of virtual servers that a PaaS is based on as well as low-level settings of the platform itself. A provider is responsible for their optimal configuration and you as a client do not need to take care of settings, updates, scalability, and security. You get access only to interfaces of a platform itself.
PaaS servers help to save time on the configuration of the infrastructure that is required for the company. You can add the necessary set of services. The main issue is to make sure that a service provider already has or will have the necessary solutions in the future.
SaaS is Software as a Service.
It is a fully set up and ready-to-use program that can perform some particular functions. The only difference between SaaS technology and a program on a smartphone or a computer is that software is placed in a cloud. You can get access to it via the internet and the program itself works on virtual servers and doesn’t occupy memory space and resources of your computer or smartphone.
IaaS and PaaS for SaaS can function as infrastructure and development and deployment environments: software developers use cloud facilities to build, launch and store SaaS apps, and ensure access of users to them.
If you have a task that can be fully solved by a SaaS platform, it will be cheaper and faster to use it, instead of developing a solution from scratch.
Benefits of SaaS
Companies offering this type of service provide better efficiency in routine business processes for clients.
- Reducing startup costs
High costs for licensing, maintenance, and IT infrastructure are business practices that are becoming a thing of the past.
With SaaS, applications can be accessed from any device, whether it’s a desktop computer or a smartphone. It is enough to download the application or register on the software site and connect to the Internet.
- Access anywhere
All your company needs to use SaaS is an Internet connection. All software data as a service is stored in the cloud.
Nothing is lost, unlike the cases with traditional software, which can be affected by computer or smartphone failures.
- Customizable options
At any time, your company can buy additional packages or customize the service to further improve its efficiency.
- Automatic updates
With SaaS, updating and maintaining are simplified because they happen automatically without increasing the amount of manual work by developers.
Have you ever been in a situation when you had to wait for a technical specialist to maintain your software? Then you know what a waste of time means. This is something that doesn’t happen when your company uses SaaS.
- Integrations with other systems
Most SaaS vendors offer integration with other systems. Using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), you can augment your software with other features. In this way, you can easily manage the changing needs of the business.
- Variety of packages
Your company can offer customers different packages with different features. That way, customers can choose the one that has the best cost-effectiveness in relation to their budget. To change the package, simply upgrade it.
- Pay only for what you use
Your company only pays for what you use. You no longer have to pay for a package license that you do not fully use.
Other advantages of using SaaS:
- Time and work optimization;
- High accessibility;
- Simplified integration and Security.
What are the best examples of SaaS?
Google Drive is a type of SaaS. It offers an online file hosting service that you can access whenever and wherever you want.
Today there are several SaaS that provide movies online so you can watch them at any moment. A prime example is Netflix and its competitors such as Amazon.
Pipedrive is a technology solution for small businesses that helps to manage sales processes.
Among other examples, we can name Paypal, LinkedIn, and Adobe.
The difference between SaaS and traditional software
The main difference between SaaS and traditional models is the way data storage is organized. Traditional software has to be installed on the client’s computer. With SaaS, the data is in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. So, SaaS is a cheaper option because it does not require paying for licenses or installing software. Updates occur automatically, unlike the traditional model, which requires continuous maintenance.
SaaS also does not require a large amount of memory on the company’s server, as the SaaS software company is responsible for this. Moreover, SaaS companies can also offer a personalized service according to the needs of each customer.