Software Development |
What is SaaS? 10 FAQs About Software-as-a-Service
What is SaaS? 10 FAQs About Software-as-a-Service
You may have heard of SaaS (Software as a Service). It has revolutionised the software industry. SaaS has been around for some time now. There are significant benefits associated with adopting SaaS. The model is expected to grow even more rapidly in the future. So, if you are presently not using SaaS it is recommended you adopt it at the earliest.
FAQs about Saas (Software-as-a-Service)
- What is SaaS? In this model, subscribers use software hosted on a remote server. They pay monthly or annual subscription charges to the software provider. Usually, annual subscriptions are cheaper. What you need is an Internet connection. Any device can be used such as mobile, laptop or tablet. You need to have login credentials which are supplied by the SaaS provider. The vendors are responsible for the hosting and maintenance of the code, database and servers that constitute the software. One benefit of SaaS is that organisations do not have to purchase hardware to host the required software. Also, they do not have to hire employees to maintain as well as troubleshoot the respective software. The SaaS company shoulders the software related responsibilities. When a company buys any software, it obtains a permanent licence. Maintenance and support charges work to around an extra 15% to 20% annually. In the SaaS model the subscribers get software licence, maintenance and support. There is no additional charge. Thanks to its affordability, small companies and start-ups can use software which they cannot afford to purchase outright.
- How Do You Choose between SaaS and On-Premise?Initially you need to figure out the complexity of your enterprise. Ask yourself certain questions to make a decision if SaaS is what you need.
- How much software customization is necessary?
- Do off-the-shelf solutions meet your entire needs?
- Can you afford buying software outright?
SaaS makes it possible for small enterprises to avail of state-of-the-art software. Now buyers don’t have to balance flexibility and functionality. Predominantly SaaS provides the identical experience as a local installation.
Data ownership is an important aspect. Usually, providers keep information in the possession of the subscriber. It is vital that you go through the service contract to know exactly how your information will be used. Some industries are still reluctant to adopt SaaS. But do realize that SaaS is tailor made for the latest software technologies.
- What is SaaS’s History?In 1961 John McCarthy, a famous computer scientist, addressed an audience of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) students. He made a bold remark that computation may be in the future available as a public utility such as electricity and water are. Incidentally he was awarded the Turing award for his outstanding work in artificial intelligence.While the idea has existed for a long time the technology to support SaaS became feasible only in the late 1990s. Salesforce was a pioneer offering CRM (Customer Relationship Software) to subscribers over the Internet. Initially the global software industry was reluctant to implement SaaS because of a variety of reasons such as ignorance and lack of faith. In the past 10 years we have experienced stellar SaaS growth. For your information, the SaaS sector is increasing at a rate faster than PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
- What Constitutes a Private Cloud?Many people ask this question as they are confused. The cloud consists of a group of extremely complicated infrastructure technologies. Basically, it’s a group of computing devices, databases and servers that are inter-connected in a manner that subscribers can rent access to their shared full power. Computing resources are scalable and subscribers can dynamically add or reduce the quantity of computing resources they wish to rent.Cloud can be defined to any resource that is hosted remotely and accessed by the user using the Internet. Infrastructure and deployment platforms are part of the Cloud. SaaS is a core component of the cloud. In the case of SaaS business software applications are delivered to interested parties. For your knowledge it is simpler, quicker and inexpensive to deliver software applications via SaaS as compared to on-premises software deployment. Presently SaaS delivers almost all major business software to users.
- Are SaaS and Cloud Computing the same?Many people ask this question as they are confused. The cloud consists of a group of extremely complicated infrastructure technologies. Basically, it’s a group of computing devices, databases and servers that are inter-connected in a manner that subscribers can rent access to their shared full power. Computing resources are scalable and subscribers can dynamically add or reduce the quantity of computing resources they wish to rent.Cloud can be defined to any resource that is hosted remotely and accessed by the user using the Internet. Infrastructure and deployment platforms are part of the Cloud. SaaS is a core component of the cloud. In the case of SaaS business software applications are delivered to interested parties. For your knowledge it is simpler, quicker and inexpensive to deliver software applications via SaaS as compared to on-premises software deployment. Presently SaaS delivers almost all major business software to users.
- Are there Internet / Operating System Limitations?A valid concern is compatibility with multiple operating systems. Generally, you don’t need to worry. Software will be delivered through web browsers and compatible with all operating systems. Rarely you may need to obtain a new web browser for efficiency and effectiveness. SaaS needs a strong and stable Internet connection. But sometimes the Internet may malfunction. Then you cannot access the required software online. To address this scenario some SaaS providers have come up with offline functionality. Here users can keep using the software even if the Internet is not working. Once the Internet is restored all the user data is synced to the system.
- What to do if the SaaS Vendor Goes Out of Business?As with any other kind of business there is a risk of the SaaS provider going out of business. Usually, SaaS providers prepay their data centre hosting entity. This is done to make sure subscribers still have access to their data in case something adverse occurs to the SaaS provider. Before selecting a SaaS provider, find out how experienced it is. Another crucial factor is how successful their business is. Finally ensure that they have a technology roadmap. The contract with the SaaS provider should mention that the former will assist you in migrating your company data for a certain fee.
- Does SaaS Keep My Data Safe?This is a valid concern. You may be of the opinion that locally stored software is more secure than software hosted on the cloud. But the situation has changed from the earlier times. The track record of SaaS providers clearly demonstrates that SaaS is a secure and safe technology. SaaS providers have more financial resources than small and medium enterprises. Thus, they buy and operate state-of-the-art security technologies. Thanks to extensive experience they are well versed with security best practices. Today you can safely state that your cloud data is as or more secure than on-premises software. SaaS providers usually have a dedicated team of talented and experienced cyber security specialists. If you still have doubts, you can choose a private cloud provider rather than a public cloud provider for the requirements of your business.
- Who Has the Ownership Rights Over Your Data?Usually, the subscriber has ownership rights over his/her data. There are usually clauses in the SLA (Service Level Agreements) that say that you have ownership over your data located on the cloud provider’s server and that you have full rights to retrieve your data. The SaaS contracts contain prepaid contingencies that grant access to user data if the SaaS provider goes out of business and grant ownership rights to the subscriber. Generally, subscribers are allowed to export their data in the format they choose. In the unlikely situation of the contract giving the SaaS provider having data ownership rights don’t agree to it.
- Is it Possible to Customise SaaS Software?Yes, it is possible to do so whether it is a personal or business requirement. The good news is that it is becoming easier to customise SaaS software. You can customise the look and feel of the application. Users have the freedom to determine what data is visible. They can add or delete business features. Subscribers can change their respective workspace for instance a dashboard to display only the data they need shown and adjust the software to their specific work style. Customizability is offered by software vendors for both local installation and SaaS. But note that SaaS comes with superior agility as well as flexibility.
Focaloid is a stellar software development products and services company catering to clients in the US & UK. We have the necessary expertise and experience in SaaS. Focaloid has a team of talented and seasoned professionals in various domains and technologies. Over time we have established a mature outsourcing model which is productive, efficient as well as effective. You can safely rely on us to deliver outstanding software solutions and services within stipulated deadlines. Contact us at the earliest to know how we can help you. We are committed to superior client satisfaction and mutual growth.