Software as a Service is a model of cloud computing and it is used by businesses, technology professionals, and personal users. The SaaS market is said to increase to $200 billion within the next two years and many SaaS-based products are the latest trends.
SaaS is Software as a Service. It is a platform in which a third-party cloud provider hosts the application over the internet, making it easily accessible for the end-user. So, rather than installing and maintaining software, users can access the application without handling complex software and hardware management.
It is called hosted software, on-demand software, or web-based software. The SaaS application runs on the provider server, and they manage the application from performance, availability, and security. These applications are mostly used by both B2B and B2C users.
More than 60% of the market prefers SaaS over the traditional model because of cost-effectiveness and free from extensive hardware.
An independent software vendor contracts with a cloud provider to host the application in their data center or the software provider will use their computing resources, database, servers, and networking to host the application and other concerned information. These applications are accessible through the web browsers and can be viewed from any device that has an internet connection.
The companies that use this application need not go through the setup and software maintenance process. It is a ready-to-use application, where the users have to pay a subscription fee to access the data.
In this model, the provider gives the users network-based access to applications that were created for the SaaS model. So , the source code of the application is similar to all the users and any additional features/ functionalities are automatically rolled out to the users. Based on the service level agreement, the user data is either stored in the cloud or locally, or both cloud and locally.
The SaaS model is somewhat similar to the on-demand software delivery model and application service provider. Businesses can integrate other software with the SaaS application using the API (application programming interface). For instance, organizations can create their own software tools and integrate them with SaaS offerings by using the SaaS provider’s API.
When the cloud provider manages the updates, maintenance, and fixes the bugs efficiently and effortlessly because of the SaaS architecture. The architecture uses the multi-tenant approach. According to this approach, a single instance of the application will run on the host server and that instance will serve all the subscribed users.
The SaaS application will run on a single version and configuration with all the users. Even when all the users run on the same instance with a common platform and infrastructure, the data is segregated differently for all the users. So, rather than changing multiple instances, engineers can easily make changes in a shared instance. The multi-tenant approach is the best way to get good resources for a large number of users without compromising privacy, security, and speed.
The major security issue in the digital medium is the cyber security risk. The risk associated with traditional software is different from SaaS.
The SaaS provider is responsible for securing the application, physical infrastructure, platform, operating system, and platform. But, they are not responsible for user data. Based on the providers the security options vary from bare minimum to a wide range of SaaS security options. Generally, the providers prefer a secured public cloud service to run and store the data and software instances.
Most of the security risks are unintentionally caused by users, bugs, and business security vulnerabilities. However, data security is independent of the location of the server. Therefore, SaaS vendors are capable of investing more on security, maintenance, and backup than any enterprise.
SaaS removes the need for businesses to install and maintain their own data centers. It eliminates the expenses of hardware provisioning, acquisition, maintenance, support, installation, and software licensing.
Enhanced Customization: The SaaS model offers customization and it can be integrated with other business applications that have a common software provider.
Automatic Updation: Unlike other software applications, SaaS providers automatically update and patch management. Reducing the burden of IT professionals.
Persistence & Accessibility: SaaS applications are delivered over the internet, so users can access information from anywhere using a data-enabled device.
Scalable Usage: SaaS applications offer high scalability, so users have the option to access services and features on demand.
The application has its own challenges and risks, because the organizations depend on the third-party vendor to provide the application, run the application, monitor and report the billing, and maintain a secure environment.
Saas application is an exceptional model despite certain challenges. There are various SaaS-based products and services available in the market. They range from analytics tools, video-streaming services, CRM, sales management, billing and collaboration, financial management, HRM, and in the medical and insurance industry.
Some of the popular SaaS products are:
SaaS products are comparatively budget-friendly when compared to the traditional software license. Also, it includes the set up, installation, and hardware requirements. SaaS applications generally follow the subscription-based model and come with different packages. The SaaS platform is listed as the trending technology of 2022. So, give it a try and you will love it.