SaaS (Software as a Service) is the most popular business model these days, and it is changing the way organizations work. It is a cloud-based service that can be accessed online instead of downloading on different computers. However, SaaS is often confused with cloud services. Some of the features of SaaS resemble Cloud, but they both have their unique pros and cons. In this article, we will take a brief look into why these both are important.
You will see Cloud-based software all around, and you might have used some. Common examples of cloud software are Slack, HubSpot, etc. All you need is an active internet connection and the right credentials to log into the system. Then, you can access it through your desktop computer, phone, or tablet from any browser – from wherever you are.
In terms of technology, Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources like servers, storage, databases, networking, etc. These services serve to make data centers available to their customer all over the internet.
Cloud Computer vs. Old IT Systems:
Before the rise of cloud computing, companies and enterprises were required to have their own servers or hardware on-premises to use the software. In addition, the software installation needed you to have a physical CD or a flash drive to use specific software. However, this system had a lot of setbacks.
- At an enterprise level, having hardware for every individual would be time-consuming and costly.
- The physical installation process limited the usage of the software.
- It was a costly process as one or more servers would be involved.
Cloud computing served as a game-changer in the IT world. Individuals are no more required to have their own hardware to access the software. Moreover, they do not need expert skills to set up, maintain, run, and use this software. Instead, working with a cloud service provider or a third party will allow you to use and install this software on your local, remote server. These services are kept in data centers which are available all around the world. In addition, cloud computing can save you the cost of IT maintenance, as your service provider is maintaining and sharing services across multiple platforms.
Benefits of Cloud computing:
- You do not have to host or maintain your software
- Can get software upgrade without any additional charges
- You will have access to your data whenever you need it.
- Cost is significantly lower as you are only paying for the space hosted on the server.
What is a software as a service (SaaS)?
Software as a service is a cloud-based software application licensed to a user. This application is accessible via the internet, meaning the user does not need to install the software locally. The application runs on a SaaS provider server, which means your provider is responsible for the maintenance and security.
SaaS software is famous for its subscription-based rule. You are required to pay a monthly fee based on the complexity, level of service, and the number of users that will access the software. SaaS providers will deliver and maintain your application over the internet for you.
Benefits of SaaS:
- Just like cloud computing, it is cost-effective
- You have real-time access to your data
- Multiple users (1-10,000) can access the software
- You do not have to worry about the server maintenance
Popular examples of SaaS:
- Quickbooks Online
You might have also heard about the terms like laaS and PaaS, known as Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service, respectively. They use cloud computing but have different capabilities as a service. Therefore, you can think of SaaS as the branch of Cloud Computing.
Cloud vs. SaaS
A SaaS startup and Cloud System are closely related but have different terms.
A user can customize and manage his software application on a remotely hosted server by a third party in Cloud computing. In addition, the user has access to his data on those servers via the internet. However, you pay a subscription fee for an already developed, cloud-based application via the internet in the case of a SaaS startup. You do not need to maintain or require to make any changes to the software, as it is done as a part of your subscription plan. In easier terms, SaaS is a further classification of Cloud Computing software. SaaS software can be built on local terminals or can be deployed to a cloud-based server.
SaaS has the following significant benefits:
- The software is directly shared and hosted with you.
- No installation, expensive hardware, or backups are required
- With SaaS, you do not have complete control over the management and customization of the software.
- The installation time is faster, and you do not need to worry about future upgrades.