Our recent series on cloud computing models concludes today with a look at the third and final model, SaaS. SaaS stands for Software as a Service; on this cloud model, the consumer can access and use the provider’s applications, usually through a Web browser. According to the NIST, the client does not control any of the underlying infrastructure or the applications themselves. In this model, companies can use software programs (such as accounting, HR management and collaboration programs) that help them run and manage their day-to-day operations without having to actually purchase the software; the client rents the software from the provider and pays for a subscription to use it.
SaaS use has grown a great deal and adoption will continue to grow in the business arena. According to Gartner, worldwide SaaS revenue is expected to reach $14.5 billion this year and will continue to grow through 2015, when it is expected to reach $22.1 billion in revenue. There are several benefits that SaaS offers companies that utilize it.
One of the biggest advantages of using the SaaS model is that it alleviates a lot of work and stress for the business since they do not have to design, build and run their own infrastructure, which can be extremely difficult and impractical for most businesses. The business also does not have to worry about maintaining the database, network, operating systems or the applications. Instead, all they need is an Internet connection and they can access the software they need which is hosted by a service provider. SaaS is great for companies that want to take a more hands-off approach to their IT needs.
Like the other service models, SaaS can save businesses money in several ways. The first area is in terms of IT costs. Since everything is hosted off-site and maintained by a service provider, the company does not have to worry about paying someone to handle their IT concerns (e.g. updating software or checking for viruses). Second, Saas allows for an economy of scale. Since applications hosted on this model are operated on multi-tenant structure, services can be offered at a much lower cost. Lastly, SaaS is offered on a pay-as-you-go basis. Instead of forking over a ton of money in order to purchase and own software, a company can pay a subscription fee based on what they use.
Accessibility is a third major advantage of the SaaS model. Since your applications and software are hosted, you are not limited in your ability to access them. If you are halfway across the world for a business meeting, you can access your email server, word processor or any other business application you may need.
Of course, these are just some of the benefits that your company can reap if they choose a SaaS provider. Since most of the service models offer similar benefits, it is up to you to decide which model will work best for your business.
At IronOrbit, we provide our clients with both application hosting solutions and virtual hosted desktops that are customized to fit their business needs. Whether you need Microsoft Office, Quickbooks or Peachtree, your applications are anywhere enabled through your own personal cloud, allowing you to access them securely from wherever you are.