SaaS explained in simple terms. In this section, you will see areas where SaaS can be used, difference between traditional software and SaaS, benefits of SaaS and examples of SaaS.

Points Covered:

  • What is SaaS?
  • Areas where SaaS can be used by the Businesses
  • Difference Between Traditional Software and Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Benefits Of SaaS
  • Example of SaaS – Office Software

What Is SAAS?

SaaS can be defined as a software that is owned and managed by one or more providers. A SaaS providers delivers the software on the basis of a set of common code and data definitions. In simple words, SaaS is a software that is leased and maintained by its creator on the basis of the metrics. SaaS is a key component of the cloud computing technology. Cloud service provider takes the responsibility of installing, operating and maintaining the respective type of software application on the company’s behalf.

In the earlier times, people used to purchase the software and load it into a device. However, with the implementation of SaaS, people can subscribe for the SaaS software, the software is based in the cloud and it can be accessed from anywhere through internet. SaaS ensures numerous benefits to individuals and to the business organizations as well.

For the business entities, SaaS eliminates the need of installing and running the applications on their own computers. As a result of this, the cost of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, installation and support is reduced.

There are many popular examples of SaaS that include Google Apps, Office 365, Citrix, Salesforce, Netflix, Cisco WebEx etc.

The difference between traditional software and Software as a Service (SaaS)

Traditional Software

  • The software is purchased by the users as a package and then it is installed into their computers.
  • There might be a limitation on the licenses according to the number of users or devices or depending on where the software can be deployed.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • Users subscribe to the software, generally on a monthly basis instead of purchasing it; this means that there is no upfront cost.
  • Users can end their software subscription when they no longer want to use it.
  • Applications are used and updated online through the files saved in the cloud instead of individual computers.

Benefits of SaaS


No Hardware Costs

No hardware cost has to be incurred as the processing power is provided by the cloud provider.


Scalable Usage

It is possible to access the additional storage and services on demand without the need of installing any new software or hardware.


Accessible From Any Location

There is no restriction of accessing the software with just one location; users can access their applications through any device with internet on it.


No Upfront Costs

The user can use the applications right away after subscription.The user can use the applications right away after subscription.


Automatic Updates

Updates are generally free and they are executed automatically by the software provider.


Customizing & White Labeling The Apps

Users have the ability to customize the applications to suit their needs and branding requirements.


Pay Per Use

The ‘pay-per-use’ method is especially beneficial when the software is required only for a short period of time.


Cross Device Compatibility

Users can access the applications through any internet enabled device like desktops, smart phones and tablets.


Mobilize Your Workforce

Users can access the SaaS apps and data through any internet-connected device. There is no need to worry about developing apps for different types of computers and devices as this is already done by the service provider. There is no need of any special expertise for the workforce to get connected.

Areas where SaaS can be used by the businesses:

If you have used a web based email service like Hotmail, Outlook or Yahoo Mail, you have already used a type of SaaS. These services help you to login to an account through the internet to access your emails and stored messages with a computer or any device connected to the internet. Other areas include:

  • Keeping a track of sales

  • Planning

  • Invoicing and accounting

  • Monitoring performance

  • Communicating (includes webmail and messaging)


Example of SaaS – Office Software

Office software is one of the best examples of businesses using the SaaS technology. The tasks pertaining to invoicing, accounting, sales and planning can be easily executed with SaaS. Some businesses might want to use one part of the software that executes all these tasks or it might need several parts of the software for performing different tasks.

Benefits Include:

  • Users can subscribe to the required software through the internet and then they can access it online through any computer in the office with the use of the login credentials.

  • If the needs of the business change, then an easy switch can be made to the other software that meets the business requirements.

  • Every user who wants access to a particular part of the software can be set up as a user.

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