What is SaaS? Software as a Service Definition | WIND

What is SaaS? is Software as a Service and refers to any cloud service application that enables users to access software applications via the internet.

These applications are hosted in ‘The Cloud’ and provide access to a wide range of functionality for both organisations and individuals.

Good examples of SaaS are Twitter, Facebook and Google docs; which users can access using anywhere as long as they have a web-enabled device and an internet connection.

SaaS is also occasionally referred to as “software-on-demand” and is often likened to renting, rather than purchasing it.

SaaS means that you don’t have to download and install a pre-purchased package onto your computer. Instead, users subscribe to the software on a monthly basis, rather than buying it outright and files are saved in the cloud rather than on an individual PC.

SaaS has many advantages to users.
*There are no additional hardware costs and the processing wherewithal required is supplied by the cloud service provider.
*The user does not have to concern themselves with initial set-up costs as applications are ready to use immediately following subscription.
*Instead of having to pay in full for a piece of software that may only be required for a short-term project, customers only purchase access to that software for a limited period and subscriptions can be cancelled at any time.

Usage is also fully scalable if a user needs additional services or more storage capacity; for example, there is no need to install new hardware or software, they just access what they require on demand. Any updates needed are deployed online automatically by the cloud service provider for existing customers and are usually provided free of charge. Some software applications can be customized or changed to fit company branding or the particular requirements of a customer or organisation.

In an office environment, tasks relating to invoicing, sales, accounting and planning can all be carried out using SaaS. It may be that one suite of finance software can be used for all these functions or several individual elements might be required. The requisite software can be subscribed to online and accessed over the internet using any computer in the office, using the correct username and password. In a fast moving commercial environment needs change and SaaS allows businesses to easily switch to a more appropriate piece of software as and when they need to. Whether a company has two employees or two thousand, each individual who requires access to a specific piece of software can be set up as a user.

There is no doubt that in today’s highly competitive commercial environment where every dollar counts, the financial and convenience advantages presented to businesses by SaaS are sure to guarantee that this new innovation in cloud-based technology will grow and grow.

Find out more about Sofware as a Service by reading more about SaaS for Dummies.

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Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies.