What is Software as a Service?
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Rashed Kahn is a regular contributor to The HRIS World.
Software as a Service, which is also known as SaaS, is a way of delivering hosted software based in the cloud – unlike the more traditional method, whereby software is installed on machines individually.
Instead of limiting access to one device, the cloud is a way of using external servers to store data remotely, which can then be accessed from any computer, in any location, by anyone with permission to share it.
This method can be used to access some of the common business applications, such as HR, accounts, content management, and service desk applications.
Compatibility, Flexibility, Scalability
SaaS is usually compatible with different operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS, as well as the various versions of each system.
The software is typically run as a web-based application, which ensures compatibility, using a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
The application is compatible with multiple versions of browsers, which is much easier than developing functional software for differing operating systems.
Customisation of the interface is usually possible by changing or adding features to alter the feel and look of the application.
Also, different themes or skins can also be created to suit the end-user or company.
The individual can do this by themself, or a corporation can be used to customise the interface – in which case logos and colours matching your company branding may be added.
Economical to Own
SaaS is normally paid for by companies on a subscription basis instead of a one-off payment.
This service can also be paid for per transaction or per user, or on a monthly or yearly basis, thus providing a flexible payment plan.
A free version is even available, which has the option to pay for extra features.
Scalability As Well As Adaptability
SaaS based ERP systems are available which allow the customer to tailor make their solution.
Businesses making use of this method have a choice of using ERP, Retail and HCM software all in conjunction with each other.
It also allows for easy other point ERP solutions to be easily ported to their existing ERP system.
Advantages vs. Disadvantages
SaaS has benefits for both the software provider and the user, as its central location means that the provider’s development team has easy access and can carry out security patches and updates.
Feedback on software usage can be requested by developers to allow the collection of data on how the software is being used, which benefits the user as this data can then be used to improve the service.
SaaS can have one disadvantage in that it is sometimes difficult to determine how secure the cloud really is, which may lead to worries over the security of information.
As the service is remote, there may also be a delay when attempting to access information stored in the cloud.
If there is a problem with internet access at either end, the problem must be resolved before the information can be accessed.
The Future of SaaS
Applications are becoming increasingly complex, and the data produced daily by businesses is increasing.
All this is requiring more memory and leading to users to look to the cloud for both software and data storage.
As internet connections become much faster and more reliable, it is believed that reliance on the cloud will only increase.
As software is the first to be assessed in such situations, SaaS will be the first data storage choice for many businesses.
Here’s a very informative 2-minute video
discussing the advantages and the scalability of SaaS…
More articles by Rashed Kahn...
- Implement an ERP System in Just 3 Weeks? - 31-July-2012
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