Software is indispensable in today’s world. It is hard to imagine any service provider without software. For decades companies and customers used to run software on their own internal infrastructure. But that practice of purchasing traditional software licences to run software on locally owned infrastructures is quickly becoming obsolete. Many businesses have migrated their software services to models known as ‘SaaS’.
‘Saas’, which stands for “Software as a Service“, is a software application model where an enterprise vendor develops a web based application software and then hosts it centrally over the cloud to be accessed by customers using thin clients through a web browser. Not many customers are in the practice of purchasing software licences or building costly equipment; they simply host their services with a provider of choice and pay a monthly or annual fee to use the software.
The software market has undergone huge changes since inception. The maturing of the software industry, the reduced operational and security risks, the trend of outsourcing and the advantage of reduced costs provided by SaaS have all contributed to the rapid and widescale adoption of SaaS globally.
Besides, the growing use of web interfaces, standardization of web stacks, HTTPS, and the popularity of web development practices along with introduction of web application frameworks; the costs of SaaS based solutions have been reduced significantly. Broadband internet access ensured that the quality of web based software service was on par or even better than traditional software.
Software as a Service has become a common delivery model for many business applications like accounting, Customer relationship management(CRM), collabaoration, content management, human resources management(HRM), management Information system(MIS), invoicing, enterprise resource management(ERM) and Service Desk management. SaaS has been the strategy of all popular and leading enterprising companies.
Most of the SaaS solutions are based on multi-tenant architecture. In this architecture, a single version of the application, with a single configuration is used for all customers. Then the application is installe d on multiple machines for scalability. Sometimes a group of users may have access to a second version, usually pre-release(beta) version of the application.
The future of SaaS looks bright with more and more people looking for cloud based software solutions. And the quality of services is going to be better with high speed broadband and better development of web based protocols.
What are your thoughts? What have your experiences been with using SaaS based products?