Types of cloud services
Most cloud computing services fall into three broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack because they build on top of one another.
Software as a service (SaaS)
- Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.
- In other word ,Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet
What are the Advantages of SaaS?
SaaS removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centers. This eliminates the expense of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, as well as software licensing, installation and support.Other benefits of the SaaS model include:
- High adoption : SaaS applications are delivered over the Internet, users can access them from any Internet-enabled device and location.
- Lower initial costs: SaaS is generally subscription-based and has no up-front licence fees resulting in lower initial costs. The SaaS provider manages the IT infrastructure that is running the software, which brings down fees for hardware and software maintenance.
- Quick set up and deployment: SaaS application is already installed and configured in the cloud. This minimises common delays resulting from often lengthy traditional software deployment.
- Painless upgrades:Rather than purchasing new software, customers can rely on a SaaS provider to automatically perform updates and patch management. This further reduces the burden on in-house IT staff.
- Accessibility: All you need to access a SaaS application is a browser and an internet connection. This is generally available on a wide range of devices and from anywhere in the world, making SaaS more accessible than the traditional business software installation.
- Seamless integration: SaaS applications can integrate with other software using application programming interfaces (APIs). For example, a business can write its own software tools and use the SaaS provider’s APIs to integrate those tools with the SaaS applications.
- Scalability: SaaS providers generally offer many subscription options and flexibility to change subscriptions as and when needed, eg when business grows, or more users need to access the service or vice versa.
- SaaS facilitates remote application hosting and delivery, making this the key advantage of SaaS: painless application access. SaaS customers have no hardware or software to buy, install, maintain, or update. Access to applications is easy—you just need an Internet connection.
What are the disadvantages of SaaS?
Businesses must rely on outside vendors to
- Provide the software.
- Keep that software up and running,track and report accurate billing
- Facilitate a secure environment for the business’ data.
- Security and data concerns : A security breach or any other issue can have a profound effect on the customers’ ability to use those SaaS application
- Connectivity requirement: SaaS model is based on web delivery, for any reason internet service fails, business will lose access to your software or data
- Performance: SaaS may run at somewhat slower speeds than on-premise applications,
The risks and challenges of SaaS
- Companies that use SaaS can expect to lose some level of control when it comes to accessibility, which is one of the trade-offs of cloud computing in general.
- This loss of control can extent to other areas, such as when a service provider adopts a new version of an application but an company is not ready to make such a change or doesn’t want to incur the costs of training users in the new version.
- A security breach or any other issue can have a profound effect on the customers’ ability to use those SaaS application
Popular Software as a Service (SaaS) Examples
- Oracle Cloud Saas ( Oracle Fusion ERP, SCM Etc)
- Microsoft Office 365
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Google Apps
- Amazon Web Services