SaaS is the cloud services product that most people are familiar with because they have already used internet-based software such as file sharing programs, Skype, Google Docs, social media, and other on-demand consumer applications.
SaaS goes much further, but broadly it can be considered as software which is totally provided and managed by a service provider, and which is accessible online. It can be provided via a web-browser or through directly connected links from business premises over the internet.
The main benefits of SaaS are that:
- You don't have to purchase, maintain or update the software or the technical environment in which it runs.
- The software can usually be customised or branded for your organisation (sometimes called 'white labelling')
- You are always assured of keeping up with the latest technology without having to make expensive 'upgrade' decisions as new versions become available.
- There is flexible 'pay as you go' charging.
Users are able to access cloud-based applications through their web browser whilst the underlying software and data is stored on multiple servers in geographically dispersed locations to minimise the potential for disruption.