SaaS (Software as a Service) is a type of service in which applications are hosted in centralized cloud and this hosted application can be used by user via web browser over the Internet. It can also be considered as a service where end users are able to access software application by using their internet enabled devices.
You do not have to bother about installing and maintaining software instead you can easily use it via Internet. So it eliminates you from maintaining hardware management and complex software. This type of services is hosted on cloud and Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are the typical examples who use SaaS.
SaaS applications are also known as hosted software, on-demand software or web-based software. In SaaS model, software vendor hosts and maintains the server and takes care about security, availability and performance. This is a significant change from the on premise software delivery model. SaaS clients can free themselves from buying software and hardware.
What Characteristics do SaaS Possess?
(1) Multi Tenant Architecture
In this type of architecture, all application and user can share single and common infrastructure which is centrally maintained by vendor.
(2) Ease in Customization
Each user can customize the application as per their business need and it will not affect common architecture. These customizations are unique for each company and it is always preserved through upgrades. It implies that SaaS providers or vendors are able to upgrades more often, with least client risk and lower adaption cost.
(3) Ease with Access
SaaS enhances the experience of accessing data which makes it possible to access data from any network enabled device and easier to manage data usage, manage privileges. Moreover, it also ensures that everyone sees the same information at same time.
Why SaaS is Beneficial to Organization and Single Users
(1) No Initial Set up Costs
User are just needed to subscribe for service they want,they don't require any additional initial cost for the same.
(2) No Hardware Cost
The SaaS provider will provide the power to run the application and user can use the service without any extra hardware.
(3) Pay as per Usage
If small part of service is required for short period of time then pay only for that time duration and for that small service only. Subscription can be altered at any time.
If there is a need for more services then it can be easily accessed on demand without needing to install extra software or hardware.
(5) Easy to Update
Whenever there is an update, it is always available online for registered user. No need for having any extra resources to handle this update. It is mostly compatible with previous services.
(6) Cross Device Compatibility
SaaS services are ideal for those who uses different types of devices, i.e. tablets, internet enabled cell phones and those who do not use the same computer every time.
This type of service can be used anywhere as far devices are connected with internet.
To conclude, SaaS is scalable with upgrade on demand and its services or applications are accessible from any location as long as it has access to internet connection across all internal enabled devices.