SaaS Definition

The Internet offers much more than multi-channel digital communication. Thanks to Web 2.0, it is possible to have very advanced work tools in various fields. Software as a Service or SaaS is one of the different types of applications accessible from the Web. This article gives the simplified definition, but also the reasons to adopt this digital technology.

SaaS refers to a software tool available online

As its name suggests, software as a service is an online service. The term SaaS designates a Software solution accessible from any computer or tablet connected to the Internet. The application is hosted in the Cloud, but can still be used on the user’s PC or mobile. This user can be an individual or a company.

Generally speaking, you must subscribe to a monthly subscription to be able to use a SaaS application. A single payment provides access to a set of features. It also happens that service providers deploy several ranges of offers to better meet user needs. Some software as a service is aimed at families, but most is aimed at businesses.

Simplified operation for this 100% Internet service

The functioning of a SaaS varies depending on its destination. Programs for managing personnel do not have the same functionalities as those for customer relations or file saving and sharing. That said, there are basics that remain almost similar for everyone. The publisher of software makes it available to subscribers. These customers will be able to enter their data and perform various tasks. The results can be exported.

Each user of a SaaS must have an account. They must enter a username and password to access personal content. The data contained there is not visible to publishers and remains under good protection against hackers. It is possible to have multiple levels of accessibility if there are multiple users. Some can modify content while others will just consult.

Multiple differences with licensed software

To better understand the characteristics of a SaaS application, we must draw a parallel with traditional software.

Classic licensed software Software as a Service
· The program is installed directly on the user’s computer.

· For businesses, it is located on a server to which other authorized PCs can connect.

· Normally, the customer must pay a price and obtain an operating license number.

· The use of traditional software is geographically restricted.

· Time-consuming, the update must be done periodically otherwise there is a risk of incompatibility issues.

· Hackers have fun looking for flaws in widely distributed software.

· It is sometimes necessary to follow training offered by the publisher.

· With an online work tool, there is no installation to do. The user does not have to download a large file.

· Access is possible from one or more stations provided you have a username and password.

· In some cases, you just need to click on a link to access content in Cloud.

· The operation of a SaaS application is not geographically limited, as long as there is an Internet connection.

· The update is automatic with backward compatibility and good security against computer hacking.

· It is intuitive to use thanks to the functionalities that have been simplified as much as possible.

The challenge for this type of service

SaaS programs are essential in this digital age. The digital age requires tools accessible at any time and on all kinds of connected media. This allows the entrepreneur to view the previous day’s sales figures on his phone while having breakfast. He will also be able to see the progress of production. On another online software, he can read the appointments that await him during the day.

Since the creation of SaaS applications, IT professionals have had much less work to do. They do not have to travel to VSEs and SMEs to install accounting or human resources management software. Maintenance work is also less frequent. With online productivity tools, outages still exist, but the customer doesn’t have to worry about repairs.

Scalability is another point to remember with SaaS software. This app is continually upgraded by the publisher. Its technological advance gives it good competitiveness. The user has the certainty of having a tool that allows them to remain legal. In addition, cracked, i.e. stolen, programs can happen. Modularity and simplicity are also two characteristics specific to Software as a Service.

Some examples of commonly used SaaS software

There are hundreds of SaaS programs run by many vendors. The few names below are among the best known companies.

  • Salesforce is a star among software exclusively available in the Cloud. Often cited as an example, this customer relationship management (CRM) tool costs €20 per month.
  • Dropbox is offered for less than €10 monthly subscription. It is a popular storage service with an array of collaborative programs.
  • Google G Suite includes Sheet, Doc, Forms, Slides, Vault and many other tools published by the Alphabet group. They are available in free mode, but a subscription must be paid for a professional user. Price $6/month.
  • Lumen5 proves that SaaS is not limited to business apps. It is 100% online video creation software. It incorporates constantly updated artificial intelligence.
  • WebEx is a property of Cisco. It is a recommended tool for videoconferencing calls, remote training, remote assistance, etc.

Many advantages including freedom and time saving

Online software can be accessed from any part of the Earth as soon as there is an Internet connection. The user can count on this work tool which ensures good mobility. The program is hosted in the Cloud and can be opened at any time from a Smartphone, tablet or computer. The configurations adapt to the support. Some features may be reserved for a PC.

SaaS solutions save their users valuable time. These are turnkey programs that can be put into operation directly. The user will not have to wait for a download or installation. Moreover, maintenance is also carried out online. Automating certain tasks can boost productivity. Then, interoperability significantly improves internal communication within a company.

No worries about updates or vulnerabilities

SaaS applications are constantly updated by their publisher. This makes it possible to improve performance, add new features, but above all to anticipate possible breaches. Indeed, hackers spend their time scrutinizing software commonly used by a wide audience to discover the flaw. They use it to break into the PC of individuals or businesses.

SaaS service providers comply with various security measures, including the GDPR regulation. In other words, they are required to ensure the security of the data stored on their servers. These are installations under surveillance day and night in addition to having a fire protection system. In the event of fires or floods, data is generally saved in duplicate in geographically distant locations. The ISO 27001 standard applies stricto sensu.

Significant performance at lower costs

Competition in the field of computer program publishing available exclusively online works in favor of users. They benefit from quality service at affordable prices. Publishers put a lot of effort into developing new features. Without having to pay a large sum, the user has a high-performance work tool. Multiple updates do not slow down the speed of SaaS.

Online software is aimed at a wide audience. They do not require exceptional setup for support. Thus, a basic computer that is more than 10 years old can manage SaaS such as Salesforce. Finally, the user benefits from an application that is easy to use and fast, but which remains less expensive than licensed software. The latter can result in additional costs in the event of a breakdown, but this almost never happens with online apps.

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