What is SaaS in Cloud Computing and How It Works

| June 14, 2017
saas in cloud computing

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SaaS model stands for Software as a Service. It is a distribution mechanism for end users planning to introduce new software into their computing system. SaaS technology in cloud computing is one category of cloud computing systems. The other two categories are infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). IaaS PaaS Saas are thus three pillars of the cloud computing system.  

What is Software as a Service (SaaS)

The concept of SaaS has been around for the last few years. SaaS refers to Software as a Service, which is an alternative way of accessing software as opposed to the on-premise software. It is a subscription-based model, where the software is hosted in a virtual server known as the Cloud. 

SaaS Solutions can be accessed on any device with a web browser and internet connection. It is different from on-premise software which is installed in the system. Companies don’t have to invest in hardware to host the software, the SaaS vendor takes care of all the IT responsibilities needed to maintain the software.

What is SaaS in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing systems have SaaS software (Software as a service) as their key integral part. SaaS permits users to take a subscription for software or an application thus saving them from the hassle of purchasing it. You can also rent such software through SaaS applications.

Installation costs and maintenance charges get automatically reduced through SaaS technology. SaaS companies install, operate, and maintain specific types of software or applications on behalf of the company.

SaaS as a software distribution model makes applications available on the internet across all major categories, be it infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or software as a service (SaaS).

IaaS PaaS SaaS Applications – Explained with Examples

Platform Examples
IaaS CISCO Metapod, Amazon Web services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Joyent and Google Compute Engine (GCE).
PaaS SaaS Hoogle apps, Cisco WebEx, Dropbox, Concur, Salesforce and GoToMeeting.
SaaS AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Apache Stratos, OpenShift, Heroku, Force.com and Google App Engine.

Iaas PaaS Saas in cloud computing are three services providers that provide benefits and capabilities to their targeted users based on their core components. The core features that distinguish IaaS Paas SaaS cloud from each other have been enlisted below:

  • IaaS

IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service is a self-service model meant to access, monitor and manage data center infrastructures that are remotely situated. This model offers services on an outsourced basis for strengthening computer infrastructure, such as, storage, networking, and virtualization. IaaS provides cloud-based alternative solutions to on-premise infrastructure.

Examples of IaaS: CISCO Metapod, Amazon Web services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Joyent and Google Compute Engine (GCE).

  • SaaS

SaaS in cloud computing is a software distribution model that allows its end users to use cloud-based applications over the internet. SaaS products are launched by SaaS companies at their data center and customers access it through their browsers. SaaS model is widely used for managing customer relationships, service desk, accounting, documents, and content management.  

Examples of SaaS platforms: SaaS Hoogle apps, Cisco WebEx, Dropbox, Concur, Salesforce and GoToMeeting.

  • PaaS

PaaS or Platform as a Service is used by developers who specialize in software or application development. PaaS platforms are based on virtualization technology. They are also scalable in nature. PaaS vendors host hardware and software on their own infrastructure and can be used by end-users anywhere and anytime for the application development.  PaaS supports multiple users and is a preferred choice for businesses focused on developing unique applications.

Examples of PaaS: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Apache Stratos, OpenShift, Heroku, Force.com and Google App Engine.

Top 10 SaaS companies in India & Their Best SaaS Products

SaaS software has helped businesses and organizations build a strong infrastructure on the cloud and enjoy higher scalability and integration. Power-packed integrations within the platform have helped businesses increase revenue, escalate market reach and simplify daily operations. The top ten SaaS companies in India are:

  • Zoho
  • Agile CRM
  • IBSFintech
  • Freshworks
  • VTION
  • Playtonia
  • Facilio
  • Hippo Video
  • KlentySoft Inc
  • Paperflite

Know more about these Top 10 SaaS companies in India, which are revolutionizing SaaS in cloud computing.

Benefits of Using SaaS Products

SaaS software offers benefits that have the potential for reaching a wide consumer base, expanding business operations, engage with new clients and build stronger teams. However, there are benefits of SaaS in cloud computing far greater than the ones mentioned here.

  • Lowered Cost

Companies don’t need to buy hardware to host applications, it is a subscription-based model. SaaS solutions have a monthly subscription which involves upgrades, maintenance, and client support, with no requirement of large up-front costs.

  • Quick Deployment

An on-premises software needs weeks or months in implementation. SaaS solutions just need a web browser and internet access and you are ready to go live! You thus get immediate access through SaaS.

  • Automatic Updates

Updates in SaaS are deployed automatically by the software vendor. SaaS solutions offer automatic and frequent updates as a part of the ongoing subscription charge. SaaS updates also include adherence to the latest security practices for higher information security.

  • No Infrastructure Requirement

SaaS vendor manages the complexity of the underlying IT infrastructure in SaaS. Companies aren’t required to maintain hardware or worry about which operating system version supports which database, the vendor takes care of all for them.

  • Scalability

SaaS doesn’t require users to buy another server or software in case of scaling up of the business. SaaS solutions reside in cloud environment and are scalable. SaaS products can also be integrated easily with diverse technologies that is being used currently in your organization.

  • Anywhere Access

With internet access, SaaS solutions can be accessed from anywhere in the world. This provides mobility to the users, with the freedom to access data and work from anywhere and from any device including laptops, computers, tablets, or smartphones.

  • Backups and Data Recovery

SaaS in cloud computing eliminates the need of implementing the system for backing up the data in case of any contingencies. They have a system of automatic updates without user intervention. All your critical business data gets updated on third-part servers to ensure secure archival and recovery.

  • Integration

SaaS has this integration feature enabled that makes it well-connected with other SaaS offerings. All you need to do is enable the new SaaS offering and not go out to buy the new offering. The capacity of the server would also be taken care of by SaaS provider.

  • Information Security

Any organization’s information is more secure with a SaaS solution than stored on-premise in traditional systems. SaaS solutions come with data encryption and key data management technologies to ensure complete information security.

  • Long Term Customer Relationship

With reduced infrastructure costs, businesses can focus more on their sales and marketing efforts and ensure customer satisfaction. SaaS in cloud computing further ensures service delivery automation, so that you can enjoy all automation features uninterruptedly. There are minimal chances of downtime with SaaS products, leading to higher operational efficiency. 

Conclusion

The popularity of SaaS solutions is steadily growing because it eases deployment and decreases customer acquisition costs. With the SaaS model, vendors can support clients. This approach allows businesses to scale up fast by replacing costly infrastructure or adding IT staff. The subscription model can keep the IT costs consistent or lower than on-premises software.

SaaS in cloud computing is specifically preferable for small and medium sized businesses who are looking for lowering their upfront expenses. SaaS has thus become the need of the hour and more and more companies are adopting it.

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