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Frequently Asked Questions about SaaS and PaaS
What is SaaS?
Traditional software is normally acquired and installed on your computer or server. This software requires various degrees of maintenance and infrastructure. That may include weekly monitoring of minor patches so that the software is kept bug free, security protocols, networking management and optimization, and server maintenance, as well as ensuring the compute levels of each computer, and possibly a server, are resource laden enough to handle all of the compute requirements of the application. As the computer ages or as the application matures, there may be major version updates that require a new purchase of the application to keep using it, too.
SaaS puts all these resource and maintenance responsibilities on the SaaS provider. The licensing method is typically in a subscription model, which allows for a much lower cost to access the application. In a typical SaaS application, all a person needs to use the application is a computer with a web browser and an internet connection.
SaaS allows for a much simpler demonstration model, as well as an easier approach to proof-of-concept projects.
With a SaaS application, any upgrades, patches, and major version releases are normally all rolled into your service.
SaaS allows for much lower requirements for internal resources to use the applications.
SaaS providers usually hold your data or manage your application with many other customers, which results in their infrastructure and internal resource costs being much lower than the traditional model. This allows them the ability to spread costs among all their customers, resulting in a much smaller subscription pricing model for you.
Because of this pricing structure, SaaS providers can increase their customer base, as the pricing allows for a much lower barrier to entry for small and midsize businesses that may not normally find the application accessible due to the high cost of licensing it in a traditional model. This will decrease the SaaS vendor’s costs, further reducing pricing.
Not having to rely on internal resources, whether headcount or infrastructure, reduces your costs to use the application as well.
Version Control and Upgrades
Since the responsibility for managing the application resides on the SaaS provider, they also upgrade their application, and the upgraded software is instantly available for their customers. The requirements and efforts involved with upgrades and new releases in a traditional software model are borne by the provider in the SaaS model, and there’s no need to be forced to purchase an upgrade package, much less involve costs associated with specialized services to upgrade your environment.
SaaS solutions typically reside in cloud environments, which are scalable for many clients. The provider takes on these requirements so that their customers don’t need to worry about purchasing additional servers, compute resources, or software. Many SaaS applications are designed to integrate with other SaaS applications, which further means that all the customer needs to do is enable a new SaaS offering, rather than cope with further server or resource capacity planning for internal IT resources.
Reduced Time to Benefit from the Solution
In most cases, as soon as you activate your subscription, you can immediately take advantage of using the application. Even in more complex SaaS environments where there may be configuration and planning for your organization, that work is only needed to be done within the SaaS application, and not with additional network tools, server tools, other internal IT resources, and it can reduce the issues associated with software deployment.
The ability to quickly access an application, as well as develop your uses of a tool without spending the time and acquiring internal resources to implement and maintain the application, allows you to leverage the benefits of that application more quickly and at a lower cost.
The ability to access your application from any computer or from any location on earth that has an internet connection allows you to be agile and responsive, giving you a competitive edge in your industry.