Software as a Service (SaaS) delivers software to users using a subscription model where the software is centrally hosted and is accessed over the internet, usually in a web browser.
Over the past decade, software has largely moved from the purchase and download model to the SaaS model. Several factors contribute to this, including changes in user organisations procedures and policies, changes in regulations, changes in technology, the availability of other software that requires integration and evolution of the product. These all require software packages to be continually updated to stay viable and relevant. The ‘buy-once’ model can’t effectively support this.
While new versions can be released that include new features, the fragmenting of versions and the required support to ensure ongoing compatibility and technical support can create significant costs for the technology provider, which are passed to their users.
This brings us to the benefits of SaaS:
- Requires no installation – Users can simply subscribe to the service and start using the software immediately, this is achieved by connecting software systems over the internet
- The hardware is shared by multiple customers, while keeping their data segregated. This keeps costs down and savings can be passed onto customers.
- More frequent updates – Because the software is hosted centrally, it can be updated more frequently. Bug fixes can be delivered as soon as they are fixed without required input from the end user. This has significant benefits over the purchase/download model where customers must wait for the next release cycle, which could be as much as 12 to 24 months away.
- More frequent and automatically implemented updates ensure security of the platform, ensuring data security is uncompromised.
- Avoids high up-front costs for the customer.
- Customers can access their software using multiple devices in any location.
- Customers don’t need to purchase powerful computers for software that requires it, the SaaS provider takes care of this using scalable cloud-based computing environments
Smartrak is a SaaS company providing GPS fleet tracking and analytics. For more information please contact Smartrak.