Even if you are not familiar with SaaS (Software as a Service), you can be rest assured that you are already using it! Your e-mail, social networks, in fact this very blog you are reading is a great example of SaaS services. What makes these services ‘SaaS’? They are all Cloud applications. The storage and processing of these applications are done on a server. When you are connected to them (applications), you use a fairly simple client (a web browser) to access and interact with the applications. Users are not expected to pay for the entire software but only rent it out for a fee agreed upon by the SaaS provider and the user.
So what makes SaaS so great?
SaaS helps break down barriers when it comes to accessing organisational applications and Data and eliminates the challenges faced by traditional IT systems. A report by a reputed publication, states that around $3.9 billion will be spent on cloud services in India over the next three years, of which $1.7 billion will be spent on software-as-a-service (SaaS), which is indicative of where businesses are headed in order to achieve success.
The top four advantages of SaaS are as follows:
Reduced time to benefit:
Unlike traditional systems, SaaS applications are already configured and installed. You have the luxury of accessing the applications within just a few hours after setting up the Service. This minimises the time spent in installation and configuration, and can reduce the issues that can get in the way of the software deployment – as seen in traditional IT systems.
SaaS applications are subscription based, which means no software license fees. At the same time, SaaS infrastructures are maintained by the service provider which means further reduction or even elimination of maintenance costs.
Scalability and Integration:
SaaS applications reside in a Cloud environment meaning they can be scaled indefinitely to meet customer demand and also integrated with other SaaS applications seamlessly. Compared to traditional IT models, you need not buy another server or software. You only need to enable other SaaS offerings and everything else will be taken care of by the service provider.
Easy to use:
SaaS applications are easy to use as they are built using industry best practices and also provide samples inside it for references. You can perform proof of concepts and test the software functionality or a new release feature in advance. Also, you can have more than one instance with different versions and do a smooth migration. One of the biggest benefits of SaaS is the vendor owns the software and automatically assumes responsibility for all the upgrades, updates and increased availability. Scaling, upgrading, updating hassles as seen in traditional IT systems are no longer your prerogative.
IBM has embraced SaaS and built hundreds of applications that meet critical business needs which are made available through IBM SaaS offerings