prewiew

The New Era of SaaS

4 min read

SaaS (Software as a Service) becomes a dominant form of software on the IT market. This business model has gained wide popularity in recent years due to several significant advantages and the changed requirements of end-users worldwide. Now, accessibility, user-friendliness, and overall transparency are those factors, which define the success of IT products.

The software as a Service approach lies in the providing of service software on a remote basis. A user doesn’t need to install, download anything or purchase CDs. Instead, he buys a subscription for a month/quarter/year. During that period, a user experiences full functionality and possibilities a chosen product can provide. But how did it begin?

A Brief Cloud Computing Walkthrough

The idea that computing services could be provided remotely from the Internet dates back to the early 1950s. That’s when this idea took shape, and during the 1960s, basic concepts of cloud computing were developed. Things like mainframe computers and data centers have lost wide popularity during the next two decades and partially became the past.

A new infrastructure model, known as client/server, spread widely, allowing the mass user to be an independent subject of Internet activity. By that time, software providers got overwhelmed with frequent updates, installations, infrastructure maintenance due to the tremendously increased number of private users.

Rapid development and the cheapening of hardware, Internet connections, and cloud computing services such as virtual private networks (VPN) have caused the burst of SaaS products. With time, cloud computing took the shape of numerous SaaS products, which we familiar with now.

SaaS: What It Is and How It Works

We all remember how troublesome it was to maintain the software on our computers. We needed to buy it on CDs, regularly install updates, and ensure that our hardware is strong enough to cope with the installed programs.

Now the things are considerably different. According to statistics, close to three-quarters of organizations use SaaS as their primary app managing approach. Such a way allows exploiting the needed software without downloading, installing, and updating it. Besides, quite often, it is free-to-use (Google Docs, Office 365, Dropbox, etc.) But if it is paid, a customer only purchases the subscription and often receives a wider functional or specialist’s support for his donation. It is a case when the idea perfectly corresponds with the term. Thus, the customer is provided with a service which he buys – with the software.

One of the most common examples of SaaS is Google Docs – a well-known tool for creating and sharing documents online. It is free, easy to use, could be reached from any device with an Internet connection, and could be launched right in the browser. In terms of functional possibilities, it does not concede its analog – Microsoft Word and at some points is handier and more convenient for the mass user.

In general, SaaS applications have the following advantages:

  1. Accessibility. There’s nothing easier than to choose a needed program/app on the Internet and launch it in the browser without installation. If the selected app isn’t paid, then things are even more accessible.

  2. Convenience. SaaS products and the hardware needed for their proper functioning are maintained by the provider, leaving no worries to the final customer. Thus, companies don’t need to hire IT specialists, consultants or spend a lot of time installing soft. Plus, SaaS products come ready-to-use and can save a lot of funds and time for any company that looks for a fast and ready-made solution.

  3. User-Friendliness. This type of software implies an easy-to-perceive interface, understandable algorithms, and functionality developed for the needs of mass users.

  4. Short-Term Benefits. A large organization or high-scale business can subscribe to some SaaS product for a short time to complete a near-term project or objective. Also, such apps don’t need specific configurations and can benefit the organization in the near time.

Examples and Experience

There are plenty of successful examples of SaaS products that became integral for the modern IT environment. We can’t imagine the business world without proper CRM platforms or Google G Suite. For once in a lifetime, everyone has experienced the benefits of such applications. Whether it's personal life or business routine, SaaS products always help. Let’s highlight a few of the best practices adapted to meet modern needs:

  1. Google G Suit.
    Maybe the most common example which includes a wide variety of vitally-important functions such as Spreadsheets, Gmail, Cloud, and Shared Calendars.

  2. Dropbox.
    A famous app that offers the storage, managing, sharing, and protection of uploaded files.

  3. CRM platforms.
    They are meant to unite customers and companies in one transparent digital environment. Salesforce’s CRM platform was one of the first SaaS products.

  4. Office 365.
    It is an analog of the familiar Microsoft Office program kit. The same functionality, similar appearance, and outstanding performance, but all are cloud-based and maintained solely by the provider.

  5. Amazon Web Services.
    More than 150 services work for such successful companies and organizations as Nasa, U.S. Navy, LinkedIn, BBC, Facebook, and others. Like SaaS providers, Amazon’s Software as a Service offers to cover a broad array of customer needs.

Today’s businesses and mass users look for simplicity and transparency, to not bother themselves with bothering software maintenance, and to experience short-term, almost instant benefits. For obvious reasons, the modern life business environment becomes abundant with SaaS. Various advantages and apparent benefits speak for themselves.

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