SaaS(Software As A Service) is an integral part of Cloud Computing along with PaaS(Platform As A Service), IaaS(Infrastructure As A Service), DaaS(Desktop As A Service) and many others.
In Software As A Service, the applications are accessed without the need for downloading and installing software on the computers. The software is accessed online on a subscription basis.
There are many applications including Office 365, Google Apps, Gmail and Slack.
When we are using Gmail, we are not using our own email server. Instead, Google is hosting and we are using our browser as a client.
The security becomes a major concern as data is stored in vendors servers.
As the data is stored in the Cloud, it cannot be accessed fast enough when the response time is required to be fast enough.
The company has to invest in training employees with the software as the versions are updated frequently and the employees find it difficult.
When the vendors are changed, it involves the transfer of large data files over the internet which takes more time.
Customization of applications is limited.
Compatibility also becomes an issue in some cases.
There are two types of SaaS namely horizontal and vertical.
Horizontal SaaS is Saas that provides the needs of the software industry whereas Vertical SaaS provides the needs of specific industry such as health or agriculture
SaaS provides many advantages. The companies need not pay large sums of money for procuring the software. This helps in encouraging many small businesses. The software providers also get a constant source of money rather than large sums of money.
Spotify is also a good example of SaaS. The user does not need to purchase the albums and they can also get a wide range of music over a monthly subscription. Some of these music companies also offer the option to download the files permanently on the basis of the pricing. It also removes the need for searching for the particular album in each and every store until you find it. Some even offer you to upload your own collection of music.
SaaS is going to have a very good future as artificial intelligence is being integrated into SaaS to provide a better interface. The time gap can also be greatly reduced by integrating Artificial Intelligence with Software As A Service(SaaS).