SaaS is the most common form of cloud computing for small businesses. You can access internet-hosted software applications using a browser, rather than traditional applications stored on your own PC or server.
The software application host is responsible for controlling and maintaining the application, including software updates and settings. You, as a user, have limited control over the application and configuration settings.
A typical example of a SaaS is a web-based mail service or customer relationship management system.
Benefits of the SaaS model include:
- easier administration
- automatic updates and patch management
- compatibility: All users will have the same version of software
- easier collaboration, for the same reason
- global accessibility.
Although the initial decision to relinquish control is a difficult one, it is one that can come with improved efficiency, lower risk, and a generous return on investment. Application deployment cycles inside companies can take years, consume massive resources, and yield unsatisfactory results.
Instead, more and more companies want to consume software as a service, and are using the SaaS model for corporately mandated applications, especially CRMs and those that fall under the SOX compliance umbrella – such as financial recording and human resources.
By using the SaaS model, enterprises ensure that all locations are using the correct application software version and the format of the information being recorded and conveyed is accurate.
By placing responsibility for the application with an outside company, the SaaS model allows enterprises to reduce the management burden for corporate applications, increase the availability of the applications to their locations, and gain the confidence that all application transactions are logged for compliance audits.
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