If you access your email via a web browser, that's Software as a Service (SaaS). This enormously popular SaaS solution is based in the cloud and allows people everywhere fast and easy access to all kinds of programs and apps no matter where in the world they happen to be. SaaS has emerged in the last few years as a primary driver of cloud technology and one that's used by everyone from ordinary users and large corporations to start-ups and cottage industries. 

The SaaS Cloud lets everyone get the same kind of access to the vast and growing range of business, personal and other software available today without having to go to the expense of buying it outright and installing the program on a hard drive — and ensuring it's compatible with existing software so that it doesn't cause issues such as crashes. This has helped to dramatically open up the world of cloud computing and its many benefits to people, companies and organisations all over the globe. 

What Is SaaS?

SaaS may be free and also fee-based. One example of free SaaS apps are the web-based email programs that many of us use, such as Microsoft Outlook; they may have advertising in them as part of their revenue model. Others, like Microsoft 365 for business, require a paid monthly or annual subscription, and there may be an annual commitment. 

Whatever the case, there's usually nothing to install on your computer apart from, in some instances, initial setup files. Everything is delivered over the internet, with the software based on the remote servers of a datacentre somewhere in the country or elsewhere in the world — the SaaS Cloud. It's generally available for any device, and the software developer or vendor is responsible for maintaining the apps and programs and their code and databases on the servers, so there's nothing for you to do apart from connect and use them.

Benefits of SaaS

Apart from costs, as there's often little or nothing to pay to use SaaS applications, one of the main benefits of this type of cloud-based technology is accessibility. You don't have to travel to the office to use a computer that has a program installed on its hard drive, as you use your browser for access, so your location is not important. This has become critical with remote working, as more people than ever are now working from home and using their companies' programs via the cloud instead of on in-house computers. 

And, as you're not installing anything on your own machine or device, there's nothing to worry about in terms of compatibility and the program potentially causing problems with other apps or even the operating system. 

SaaS apps, like documents and spreadsheets, allow people to collaborate in real-time, and they no longer have to be beside each other in an office. This allows for greater flexibility and efficiency and higher levels of productivity.

SaaS Cloud Security

Security, updates and patches are another benefit of software hosted in the cloud because the vendor will continually develop their products and update them without any downtime or having to install something for individual users — it's all done in one location now, and all the remote users reap the benefits. The data generated using SaaS is automatically stored in the cloud and can also be backed up, so you don't need to worry about storing it elsewhere and making sure it's secure. 

So are there disadvantages of SaaS? Really, it's only that you need a robust internet connection to use the apps and programs. But with broadband now widespread and many apps with an offline-working function too, that's no longer an issue for most people and companies.

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Find out more about how the SaaS Cloud can help your company to become more efficient — contact SaaS experts ITRM today.

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