What Is SaaS? 

Illustration what is saas?

One of the latest buzzwords in the technology industry has been SaaS. No, it’s not how your toddler acts when you tell them what to do. SaaS is known as Software-as-a-Service and more than likely, your company is using some sort of this software. 

Some business leaders haven’t jumped on the Software-as-a-Service train since they still have questions on why they should move to a SaaS platform. 

What is SaaS? 

SaaS is internet-based and doesn’t require any installation on to your device. The software can be accessed anywhere, as opposed to a local machine where the program was installed. All you need is an Internet browser and login. In this software deployment model, the software company hosts and maintains the hardware and code which comprises the app.  

Software-as-a-Service applications are usually paid via subscription model. In the past, you’d buy your software via CD or jump drive. You would then have to pay for the latest version once it became available. Software-as-a-Service models can update often to keep up with customer demand. 

How do I Choose Between SaaS vs. Traditional? 

Considering if you need a Software-as-a-Service all depends on your business needs. Is your business specialized compared to others or competitors? Does traditional software (installed) provide the function and features you need? Do you need something highly customized? 

You no longer need to choose features and cost. Most SaaS companies provide a familiarity as their traditional counterparts. Data ownership is the main component, and you should know who owns the data. In most instances, you own your data but review the contract and SLA (Service Level Agreements) to see how the provider will use your data. 

Can SaaS Be Customized? 

That’s one of the better features of a Software-as-a-Service model. You can choose which features meet your business needs, and for an extra cost, customize it to your business. Software-as-a-Service providers have the user in mind. 

SaaS purchases can brand their portals, add data fields to comply with their CRM, or pick which features and programs fit their business needs. They aren’t pigeon-holed into a one-size fits all model. 

Individual users can customize their dashboard and interface to display what’s important to them. A salesperson might want to see outbound call information. A marketer might want to see website traffic. 

Who Owns SaaS Data? 

This is a concern for all business owners. When you purchase a Software-as-a-Service application, you own your data. Most contracts explicitly state you own your data. The contract states data is hosted on their servers, but you have the right to recall it at any time. They even outline in the event the company goes under; you’ll have access to your data. 

Software providers will also allow you to export and backup your data. We’d use caution if a software vendor insisted on owning your data. 

Is My Data Safe with SaaS? 

Security concerns keep CIOs and IT Managers awake at night. Cloud is of utmost importance to Software-as-a-Service companies and most use secure public cloud services to store their code and data. In most instances, data is at risk internally. Risk factors include lack of budget for security measures or in-house data leaks. 

SaaS and Internet or Operating System Requirements 

One of the downsides of a SaaS platform is that you need to have a stable Internet connection. In terms of bandwidth, if you’re not working on a T-1 line from the early 2000s, you should be fine. Traditional software is still prone to downtime, as it relies on the hardware it’s installed on. So, if your computer crashes, you could lose valuable data. Software-as-a-Service applications save as you go. 

SaaS applications are not OS dependent, so you can use Windows/Mac computers. All you need is an Internet browser. 

Ready to Talk SaaS? 

Have more questions about transitioning from traditional software to a SaaS application? Contact us today. We at Greenstar Solutions take a consultative approach and will find if your business needs fit a Software-as-a-Service model and we’ll put you in touch with the provider for your Software-as-a-Service needs. 

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