Software as a Service (SaaS)
Introduction to SaaS
Software as a Service (SaaS), also referred as “on-demand software”, is a software delivery model which involves software and the related data being hosted centrally and are usually using a web browser over internet. The term software as a service is considered to be a part of the arrangement of cloud computing along with infrastructure as a service and platform as a service.
Moreover, SaaS has become a frequent delivery model for nearly all business applications, counting collaboration, accounting, customer relation management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, content management (CM), human resource management (HRM) and service desk management. Also, SaaS has been included into the strategy of all important enterprise software companies.
Example of SaaS
One of the good examples of SaaS is the ReadyRatios software which is projected to carry out an intellectual analysis of the financial position of a company on the basis of data from its financial statements. The key feature of the system is that the individuals should not participate in the analysis. All that is required to be done is to enter the financial statements data and receive the analysis results, which are in no manner different from the analysis made by a professional analyst.
Configuration and Customization
SaaS applications support, in the same way, what is conventionally referred as application customization. Putting another way, such as traditional enterprise software, an individual customer can change the set of configuration options (a.k.a., parameters) which affect its functionality and look-and-feel. Every customer might have its own private settings for the configuration options. The application can be modified to the extent it was designed for on the basis of a set of predefined configuration options.
Benefits of SaaS
Unlike the conventional models where a customer purchases a license to software and presumes ownership for its installation and maintenance, SaaS provides considerable benefits to the customer. These include SaaS being faster and more cost effective. As the customer pays a subscription, they enjoy immediate access to the new features and functionality. Also, as the software application is delivered as a service, it becomes essential for the vendor to focus on customer service and experience. SaaS can be used by Linux, Windows, or Mac users thereby providing proper platform independence over the internet.