Software-as-a-Service, SaaS for short, is a cloud-based method of providing software to users. SaaS users subscribe to an application, paying a monthly or yearly fee rather instead of purchasing it once and installing it on their local machine.
Users are able to log into the service on any compatible device at any time. Removing the need to stick to one primary device. Saas applications are usually accessed via the internet or via an app on your mobile. An example of SaaS is Gmail. You can access Gmail on any device at any time as it is hosted on cloud servers.
Advantages of using a SaaS
Access from any device, anytime
As SaaS applications are hosted in the cloud, users can access them from any compatible device at anytime, provided they have an internet connection. This offers immense flexibility for businesses and remote workers as they can access what they need, no matter where they are. Additionally, if a user needs a new device, there is no need to reinstall software as it is all accessible online.
The company that provides the SaaS software is responsible for keeping it up to date for their users. When an update is released, it is updated for everyone. The user doesn’t need to do anything.
A business can grow easily with a SaaS solution by adding more users and space if required.
As SaaS applications are hosted in the cloud, customers no longer need to invest in internal IT costs such as maintenance, installations and support.
Disadvantages of using a SaaS
As a business grows, it may become increasingly reliant on a particular SaaS provider. It is normally extremely time and resource intensive to migrate to a new provider especially if a business has been with that provider for a significant amount of time.
Access and Permissions
As software is no longer installed on machines locally and many employees working remotely, the need to strong access controls and permission is crucial. If a third party gains access to a users credentials, they may be able to access sensitive information. It is the responsibility of the SaaS provider to have a strong level of security. They can implement features such as Single Sign-On and Multi-factor authentication.