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SaaS (Software as a service)

What is SaaS? - Software as a service

SaaS, acronym for Software As A Service software as a service is a business model where the use of an application or software is done over the Internet (cloud service), i.e.: a type of cloud computing where end users only need Internet access to use the application.

With a SaaS product, the company that purchases the use of SaaS software doesn’t have to perform complex software installations, nor does it have to have its own equipment infrastructure. By simply giving its employees access to the software, they are already in a position to use it.

When purchasing the use of SaaS solutions, usually some kind of subscription is contracted for the use of the tool, either on a monthly or annual basis.

1. Advantages of SaaS solutions

Companies that make use of cloud-based SaaS solutions obtain multiple advantages compared to the purchase of installable application packages. Among those benefits, we can list:

  • Infrastructure and configuration cost savings. The SaaS model allows users to always work with the latest version of the software, which is hosted on the SaaS solution company’s infrastructure.
  • Access from any location. Access to SaaS services can be done from any other Internet-connected device, without the need to install the SaaS service locally.
  • It is easy to start using the service. Its configuration is fast because SaaS solutions can be used by users with little or no technical experience.
  • Ease of expansion. It is usually accessed by licensing or pay-per-use, so it easily adapts to the usage needs of each client. The number of new users won’t affect the software.
  • It is always updated and secure. SaaS services generally have automatic, frequent and free updates of their tools. This allows the most current and secure version of the tool to be used.

2. Characteristics of SaaS services

There are several types of SaaS solutions, each with its own peculiarities, but in general, the most common characteristics of SaaS services are as follows:

  • Cloud architecture. They are intended for use by multiple users at the same time and therefore the infrastructure that support SaaS solutions are based on the use of a common remote infrastructure (maintained by the company providing the SaaS solution).
  • Convenient access for any connected device. Thanks to this, users can have access to updated data and information at all times, as the systems are synchronized in the cloud infrastructure on a recurring basis.
  • They have an improved UX and UI. Their creators take special care to ensure that the interfaces of their solutions have a simple look and feel based on the browsing experience you would have on the web.
  • Social and collaborative features. Within SaaS solutions it is very common to have features for several people or departments to establish areas where they can collaborate effectively.
  • Pay-per-use or fee. In general, although there are pay-per-use services, the service is paid as a monthly or annual subscription. They also usually have reduced trial or freemiun versions where the features are limited.

3. Examples of SaaS

Surely you are working with SaaS solutions in your day to day, here are some examples of SaaS applications:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud, suite for accessing graphic design tools, video editing, etc.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS), cloud platform with more than 200 services.
  • Dropbox, document storage service in the cloud.
  • GitHub, service for sharing code and proprietary developments with version control.
  • Microsoft Office 365, suite of applications for document creation and management.
  • Mailrelay, email marketing and mass emailing software.
  • Slack, messaging solution.
  • WordPress, CMS for web design.