Software as a Service (SaaS)
Have you noticed more development companies are transitioning their licensed software from a product to a service? While for some it seems counter-intuitive to buy a subscription instead of making a one-time purchase, there is a valid reason why this trend has picked up momentum. Software as a Service, or SaaS, is flexible and cost effective not only for the seller, but the buyer as well.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service, or SaaS, is the act of accessing software from a provider through a monthly service instead of installing or maintaining the applications on your own computer or data center. When using SaaS applications, the user no longer has to fund hardware, provisioning, maintenance, licensing, installation, or support. All of this is done through the SaaS service provider.
SaaS applications include a vast array of software programs and technologies, such as email, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs, accounting and financial management, collaboration software, and more. A few familiar SaaS providers include Salesforce, Adobe, and Microsoft.
However, many businesses also look to advanced data centers, such as SkyLink, to manage their SaaS services, as well as their data security, storage, and space. This relationship is often ideal, as it puts all of their IT necessities with one contracted service, eliminating the need to communicate with multiple outside vendors to manage everyday operations.
When was SaaS Created?
SaaS has been around longer than you may think. Although they first became a serious product for companies around 2006, it was first brought into practice during the late 1990’s. Salesforce and their CRM program is a great example. They were one of the first to launch a product through the SaaS model.
However, the idea for SaaS dates back even farther. In fact, you could say that the seeds began in the 1960’s, when John McCarthy said, “computation may some day be organized as a public utility.” Back then, it was just a vision. Yet the concept of a shared resource environment, such as cloud computing, was not only being fathomed, but anticipated.
While those ideas may not have specifically envisioned SaaS services the way we use them now, it was certainly the beginning.
The Advantage of SaaS
Imagine being able to access the software you need from anywhere, on any device. SaaS does just that while also improving intra- and interdepartmental communication and collaboration, and reducing the costs of software deployment, administration and maintenance.
It isn’t just for large-scale companies either. Any size business can leverage our Software as a Service offering to access highly secure, cloud hosted, on-demand applications. The benefits of using SaaS include:
- Pay for What You Need, When You Need It: Our system allows you to pay for the software you need for as long as you need it, but has the flexibility of allowing you to not renew the subscription when it’s no longer necessary.
- Auto Updates Mean No Management or Maintenance: SkyLink performs all necessary patches and updates to ensure your software works efficiently at all times.
- Customize Your Subscription with Scalability: Cloud services are scalable, meaning you can access as many or as few features on-demand as you want, making it extremely easy to adapt to your business’ ever-evolving needs.
- Virtual Access: Your software is no longer tied down to one device. Our solutions allows you to access it from anywhere so long as you have internet access!
SaaS is Especially Cost Effective for Short-Term Projects
If you only intend to use the software for a few years, or if it’s the type of software that comes up with a newer, better version fairly frequently, then expect to save with Software as a Service. It’s also important to take into consideration other costs that come with software, including hardware costs, implementation costs, labor for maintenance, and additional software, including: operating systems, application server software, and a database. These costs can add up pretty quickly, whereas many of them are eliminated through the subscription service.
SaaS Applications and Custom Integration
Does your software need a personal touch? SaaS applications can be customized and integrated with other software using application programming interfaces, or API’s. If your organization can write and provide its own software tools, your SaaS provider can integrate those tools using their API, thus customizing your SaaS application.
Changes can include everything from aesthetics (the look and feel of the program’s design) to specific forms and data fields.The limitations are dependent upon the application and vendor, so start by reviewing your specific needs prior to purchasing your SaaS service to ensure they can be met upon launch.
The Security of SaaS Applications
“SaaS applications are only as secure as the server that is hosting it.”
Is my data safe? It’s one of the biggest questions SkyLink Data Centers receives regarding SaaS application, and it’s a good one. Clients should always consider security a top priority when it comes to their networks and data. SaaS applications are only as secure as the server that is hosting it. Data centers like SkyLink are typically much safer than any business location.
Most SaaS application providers have very stringent security procedures and audits that help ensure and maintain a secure environment for their customers. SkyLink in particular is very adamant about providing top-notch security with our services. Our location is like a fortress, capable of withstanding anything hackers or Mother Nature has in store.
We always recommend that you know how secure your SaaS application is through your vendor or data center prior to signing onboard. For example, sometimes your service provider may find itself in a position where it would have to close down. This is particularly common with small companies and new start-ups. Plan ahead and ensure that there is a clause within your contract that gives you access to your data should the vendor go out of business.
Questions about SaaS Services
If you have a question—or many—regarding SaaS and its applications and services, give SkyLink a call! We always have an expert on hand at 239-403-2950. Our staff is both knowledgeable and friendly, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone.