Software as a service (SaaS) is an on-demand solution that provides
businesses an affordable way to use a software application without
having to purchase it. This is done by leasing the program from a
provider and either accessing it through the internet or accessing it
after you’ve installed it locally. As an IT business solution, SaaS has
become an increasingly popular choice since companies only rent the
software, rather than committing to the purchase price of the
application and user licensing.
Many popular applications are available as SaaS. Several well-known
and free SaaS solutions are Hotmail, Google Docs and Yahoo Instant
Messenger. Business-centric, on-demand solutions that include services
such as payroll applications, CRM solutions, business-class email,
online storage and more are also becoming increasingly popular.
Latest and greatest
Microsoft has recently entered the SaaS arena with
their Windows Azure Platform. Currently offering a limited suite of
SaaS solutions, Microsoft will eventually offer all of their
applications as SaaS, while still offering all applications as local
Google has also joined the SaaS movement and is
offering Google Apps Premier Edition. Unlike previous Google
applications that were free and intended for individual consumers, the
Premier Edition has business solutions that will offer a complete suite
of business applications.
Regardless of what type of business you own, you will realize several
benefits if you choose a SaaS solution. Benefits include the
- Affordable- With SaaS, you won’t have a large
up-front capital expense as you would if you chose to purchase the
software. A reasonable monthly fee is all you will pay to have the
latest version of your favorite software. You won’t need to spend money
purchasing and installing software. You won’t have to worry about the
cost of upgrading it, either. Your SaaS provider will take care of it
so you don’t have to.
- Flexible- Because SaaS is offered as an on-demand service, you can adjust your contract to fit your staffing needs.
- Stable- The SaaS applications are installed on more
powerful, secure, and redundant hardware infrastructure than you could
afford to own.
- Quick deployment- Because most SaaS solutions are
web-based, deployment is instantaneous, giving you immediate access to
the business solutions you need.
- Accessible- Regardless of where you do business,
you will always have access to your SaaS applications as long as you
have access to the internet.
- Compatible- Most SaaS applications are compatible with most systems and smart phones.
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