Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud computing offering that provides users with access to a vendor’s cloud-based software. What are the main benefits of using SaaS?
SaaS provides an intriguing alternative to standard software installation in the business environment (traditional model), where you have to build the server, install the application, and configure it. Instead, the applications reside on a remote cloud network accessed through the web or an API, and it works like a rental. You and your organization have the authorization to use it for a period of time and pay for the software that you are using.
The following are five of the top advantages of using SaaS:
1. Reduced time to benefit
Software as a service (SaaS) differs from the traditional model because the software (application) is already installed and configured. You can simply provision the server for an instance in cloud, and in a couple hours, you'll have the application ready for use. This reduces the time spent on installation and configuration and can reduce the issues that get in the way of the software deployment.
2. Lower costs
SaaS can provide beneficial cost savings since it usually resides in a shared or multi-tenant environment, where the hardware and software license costs are low compared with the traditional model.
Another advantage is that you can rapidly scale your customer base since SaaS allows small and medium businesses to use a software that otherwise they would not use due to the high cost of licensing.
Maintenance costs are reduced as well, since the SaaS provider owns the environment and it is split among all customers that use that solution.
3. Scalability and integration
Usually, SaaS solutions reside in cloud environments that are scalable and have integrations with other SaaS offerings. Compared with the traditional model, you don't have to buy another server or software. You only need to enable a new SaaS offering and, in terms of server capacity planning, the SaaS provider will own that. Additionally, you'll have the flexibility to be able to scale your SaaS use up and down based on specific needs.
4. New releases (upgrades)
With SaaS, the provider upgrades the solution and it becomes available for their customers. The costs and effort associated with upgrades and new releases are lower than the traditional model that usually forces you to buy an upgrade package and install it (or pay for specialized services to get the environment upgraded).
5. Easy to use and perform proof-of-concepts
SaaS offerings are easy to use since they already come with baked-in best practices and samples. Users can do proof-of-concepts and test the software functionality or a new release feature in advance. Also, you can have more than one instance with different versions and do a smooth migration. Even for large environments, you can use SaaS offerings to test the software before buying.
IBM Cloud has embraced the advantages of software as a service (SaaS) and has built a portfolio of over 100 SaaS applications that solve critical business needs for our clients. Explore IBM's SaaS applications for business and IT.
To further explore the differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, see "IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS – IBM Cloud service models."