Software as a Service, or SaaS, comes under the category of applications hosted centrally, delivering applications to users over the internet in the mode of a subscription-based service. The ownership and control of the software rest with the service provider. Therefore, SaaS is software provided on lease, where the user accesses the software through the internet doing away with the need to install and maintain the software in the user’s own data center. Since SaaS applications are hosted at a central location, commonly referred to as “cloud” they are also known as “hosted software” or “on-demand software”. Applications function on the SaaS provider’s servers and access, security and performance remain under the governance of the service provider.
SaaS offers all-inclusive software solutions that customers can obtain on a “pay-as-you-go-basis” from a cloud service provider. What the user pays is a subscription fee or rent for using the application accessed through an internet web browser with a laptop, PC or smartphone, and normally billed against the number of licensed users per month, quarter or year. Because the infrastructure, app software and app data are hosted at a central location, the service provider maintains the hardware and software, and ensures access to the software, its security as well as the protection of the user data. With minimal upfront costs, organizations can put into service the SaaS application they need and get it deployed fast.
The shipping and logistics businesses in particular, with offices and staff spread across vast geographical regions can benefit from offerings such as SaaS that bring the workforces to a common platform instilling a sense of unity and purpose in achieving company objectives.
Benefits of SaaS
Cost benefits in deployment: Organizations save sizeable costs relating to hardware acquisition, maintenance, software licensing and support. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) become affordable to organizations that lack the resources to purchase, deploy and maintain such sophisticated software and hardware infrastructure.
Scalability and cost benefits: Pricing is determined by the number of licensed subscribers provided access to the application. Users can exercise the option to access only those features/modules they need, and pay only for what they use.
Flexible payments: Organizations that subscribe to SaaS eliminate the need to purchase the software and the required hardware to host the application. Users can stop subscribing to the software when they wish and thus control recurring costs and exercise better budgeting.
Automatic updates including data back-up: The SaaS provider periodically performs updates and patches to the software eliminating the need to rely on in-house IT resources. SaaS service providers offer smooth and frequent upgrades without additional costs. They undertake automatic data back-ups instilling a sense of security and relief.
Easy accessibility and common platform: Since the application is hosted in the cloud and accessed through the internet, subscribers can work and update events on the go. Managers and staff get a common platform to share data and have a unified, updated view of the status concerning new prospects and business opportunities. Staff working in different corners of the world get closer and work collaboratively.
Higher adoption rates: Investments in custom-based applications can prove highly uneconomical. SaaS, on the other hand costs substantially less to deploy and get the staff to become familiarized. Workforces come on board quickly and stay unified. Adoption plays a crucial role, otherwise employees would prefer to use applications they were once familiar with, like for instance spreadsheets and tables. It is an acknowledged fact that SaaS enjoys higher acceptance rates with low learning curves.
Security: The software is secured by strong firewalls, antivirus software and access controls, and shields users from cyber-security threats like malware, phishing attacks and the like. Though it might appear that storing data within one’s own data center is safer, the reality is far from this perceived notion. Intruders employ various methods to exploit faults in on-premise systems through phishing emails and weak security to seek user passwords and gain unauthorized access.
SaaS providers host software and user data in highly secure facilities where they have invested heavily to guarantee its security and prevent cybercriminals from gaining access. SaaS applications’ notable appeal is that even small businesses can take advantage of enterprise-grade technologies at affordable costs.
iInterchange Systems www.iinterchange.com, an exclusive software solutions provider delivers a wide range of software on SaaS www.iboxsuite.com as well as on-premises.
The technology is based on multi-layered architecture and all these applications are built to endure high data turnouts with strong security and encryption.