SaaS simplifies the procurement of software: Instead of having to install programs locally, your users access the application via the Internet. Find out what other advantages Software-as-a-Service offers your company, how does it differentiate from on-premises software and how it can be successfully introduced.
- What is SaaS?
With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), programs are made available over the Internet. For this, the application is executed centrally on a server of the provider. Your users access the program via the Internet browser and there is no need to install software locally. SaaS is typically sold as a subscription model. The price is usually graded according to the functionality of the software, the contract period and the number of users.
SaaS is already widespread today. There are numerous applications for companies, such as SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft 365 and Slack. Services such as Netflix or Spotify are popular with private users. Together with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service forms the so-called cloud computing stack. In this way, all important IT services can be obtained over the Internet.
- How SaaS differs from other As-a-Service models
SaaS forms the top layer of cloud computing, building on the infrastructure and the platform. All three shifts are available as a rental model (“as a service”). The services differ as follows:
With Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), IT resources such as servers, storage and computing power are provided in virtualized form. The advantage: Your company does not have to operate its own data center, but draws its infrastructure from the cloud.
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is aimed at your developers. This central cloud environment offers all the important resources for developing and rolling out business applications.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the product of the two previous layers. A platform invisible to the user is built into the program and the software sits on an infrastructure outside of the own organization. It is used via an online interface.
- SaaS vs. on-premises software
In the age of cloud computing, the question arises for companies: Should we run our software on our in-house servers or obtain it via the Internet? There are good arguments for both variants.
The following points speak in favour of on-premises:
– You can intervene directly in the software, for example to edit configuration files. SaaS, on the other hand, usually does not allow any changes to the program core.
– You are less dependent on well-functioning Internet connections because the software connects to users via the local area network (LAN).
– You retain full control over the server. This can play a role in data protection considerations.
Conversely, the SaaS model can refer to these basic advantages:
- Because the provider takes care of hosting, maintenance and security management, SaaS solutions cause less effort than the on-premises variant.
- SaaS solutions scale more easily. You can quickly add new users because there is no need for local installation on a workstation. All that is needed is an internet-enabled device.
- You can adapt the performance of the software to the needs of your users. In some cases the inexpensive basic version is sufficient, in other cases it has to be the premium version. In contrast, with on-premises software, you often only have the very extensive standard version available.
- A SaaS solution makes it easier to work with an external managed services provider (MSP) because it gives them direct access to your applications. With on-premises software, however, the scope of action of an MSP is limited.
- The decision for on-premises software or SaaS should always be made individually, based on the requirements of your company. However, with a view to the future, it is important to consider that the software market is increasingly oriented towards the cloud. Many business applications are already only available in the cloud version.
- The 7 most important advantages
SaaS offers your company a number of decisive advantages.
1. Benefit from optimal coordination
If you host software locally on servers and computers, you must always ensure that the hardware meets the requirements of the software. With SaaS you avoid this problem: The provider ensures that the infrastructure and software are optimally coordinated.
2. Scale as needed
Depending on the season, you may need more licenses. With SaaS, you can flexibly book relevant users online. It doesn’t matter whether you want to add 3 or 3000 users. Conversely, you can cancel licenses that you no longer need. So you only pay for what you actually use.
3. Set up new workplaces quickly
With SaaS, you can provide new users with a workplace within a few minutes. Your user only needs an internet-enabled device and the access data for the SaaS software. There is no tedious loading of programs onto local computers.
4. Collaborate at a distance
SaaS allows team members who are in different locations to easily collaborate. A good example is Microsoft 365: You can work on the same PowerPoint presentation with your colleagues in Berlin even though you are based in Munich. Changes can be tracked in real time.
5. Benefit from fast innovation cycles
SaaS software often comes up with fast innovation cycles. Thanks to the provision via the cloud, the providers can analyze user behaviour in real time. In this way, the providers receive information about possible problems, bugs and unmet user needs very quickly. Optimizations can be initiated accordingly quickly.
6. Keep your applications up to date
Installing software updates can take up a lot of time. SaaS eliminates this problem: the provider ensures that fixes and patches are installed immediately. Your SaaS application is always up to date without your having to do anything.
7. Rely on the high availability
SaaS providers with thousands of users have a great interest in ensuring that their software is always up and running. That is why they work with redundant systems in order to rule out failures or at least to remedy them very quickly. This high availability is guaranteed by the service level agreement (SLA) of the provider.
Realize your SaaS solution with PATECCO!
Would you like to take advantage of SaaS and do everything right from the start? Then we should talk. PATECCO experts check the current status of your software landscape, prepare a cost-benefit analysis and support you with the implementation. Contact us now for a non-binding initial consultation and we will be happy to support!