You have perhaps heard the term SaaS used in the workplace, but you may well have no real idea what it means. It stands for Software as a Service, but does that actually make things any clearer?
Even if the term means nothing to you, you might be surprised to find out you are probably using several of them every day without even realizing it. So here is your guide to what they are, which ones you are using and how they benefit businesses.
What is SaaS?
Once upon a time you would purchase software and install it onto a machine or machines to be used by the person or persons with access to those machines. Each machine would then have its software updated intermittently to make sure it was using the latest version. When it is put like that, it is easy to see the limitations.
With Software as a Service, you access cloud applications via the internet which can have a number of benefits. More on that coming up.
SaaS is frequently, but not always, supplied as a subscription-based service where the user pays a fixed amount, either monthly or annually, for using the software.
What SaaS are you using every day?
A lack of knowledge of what SaaS is will not have stopped you from using it.
Subscription-based television and movie streaming service providers, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, are some of the most popular SaaS for personal use. Other examples include Spotify, Uber, Eventbrite, and Airbnb.
At work, you will almost certainly recognize some of these providers when it comes to this type of technology. How often have you used Dropbox for example? Or maybe even, Slack, Mailchimp, Wix, or Shopify? All of these are also fine examples of Software as a Service.
Saas business benefits
So now you have got your head around what SaaS is, what benefits can it bring to your business? Well, the answer is quite simply, lots.
A huge benefit, especially in the current environment of remote working, is the ability to access from anywhere or through whatever device you have to hand. So you can have the same experience at home on your tablet as you can in the office on your PC.
In addition to this, the software is updated centrally without negatively affecting the service the user is receiving. For example, an update on security software will happen as soon as possible instead of waiting for IT departments to update, disturbing operations while they test the updated version.
As might be expected, training in using these types of software is easily accessible too. For example amazon cloud computing training can be carried out by employees in bite-sized chunks from teaching non-technical personnel the very basics right up to understanding AWS at a high level using a “learning by doing” training model.
Cost is another big win for SaaS making the best in software available to businesses no matter what the size. A subscription-based system means you pay for what you use. For example, you can add users when the need arises and similarly remove them by adjusting your subscription plan if they are no longer required. Accessing software in this way also eliminates the need to upgrade hardware, which may be necessary for compatibility when investing in on-premises software, offering potentially massive savings.
There are many more benefits to SaaS besides those listed here, but you can begin to understand why accessing software this way is rising in popularity both at home and in the office.