Software as a Service (Saas) :
Technoviator shoots up this concept to enhance the quality and security of cloud computing. Software as a service is a software that is deployed over the internet and/or is deployed to run behind a firewall on a local area network or personal computer. With SaaS, a provider licenses an application to customers either as a service on demand, through a subscription, in a "pay-as-you-go" model, or (increasingly) at no charge. This approach to application delivery is part of the utility computing model where all of the technology is in the "cloud" accessed over the Internet as a service.
- Pay per use
- Anytime, anywhere accessibility
- Pay as you go
- Instant scalability
SaaS was initially widely deployed for sales force automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Now it has become commonplace for many business tasks, including accounting software, computerized billing, ERP software, invoicing, human resource management, financials, content management, collaboration, document management, and service desk management.Technoviator submits the Key characteristics
SaaS characteristics include:
- Network-based access to, and management of, commercially available software
- Activities managed from central locations rather than at each customer's site, enabling customers to access applications remotely via the Web
- Application delivery typically closer to a one-to-many model (single instance, multi-tenant architecture) than to a one-to-one model, including architecture, pricing, partnering, and management characteristics
- Centralized feature updating, which obviates the need for end-users to download patches and upgrades.
- Frequent integration into a larger network of communicating software—either as part of a mashup or a plugin to a platform as a service
SaaS providers generally price applications on a per-user basis and/or per business basis, sometimes with a relatively small minimum number of users and often with additional fees for extra bandwidth and storage. SaaS revenue streams to the vendor are therefore lower initially than traditional software license fees, but are also recurring, and therefore viewed as more predictable, much like maintenance fees for licensed software.Benefits
- Save money by not having to purchase servers or other software to support use.
- Faster Implementation. Customers can deploy SaaS services/products within hours rather than weeks or months.
- Focus Budgets on competitive advantage rather than infrastructure (Low Total Cost of Ownership)
- Monthly obligation rather than up front capital cost
- Reduced need to predict scale of demand and infrastructure investment up front as available capacity matches demand
- Multi-Tenant efficiency
- Flexibility and scalability
One of the companies that sells that kind of service classifies SaaS into four "maturity levels," whose key attributes are configurability, multi-tenant efficiency, and scalability. Each level is distinguished from the previous one by the addition of one of those three attributes:
- Ad-hoc/custom: Each customer has a customized version of the hosted application that runs as its own instance on the host's servers. Migrating a traditional non-networked or client–server application to this level of SaaS typically requires the least development effort, and reduces operating costs by consolidating server hardware and administration.
- Configurable: This adds greater program flexibility through configurable metadata, so many customers use separate instances of the same application code. This lets the vendor meet different customer needs through detailed configuration options, while simplifying common code base maintenance and updating.
- Configurable, multi-tenant-efficient: This adds multi-tenancy to the second level, so a single program instance serves all customers. This enables more efficient server resource use without apparent difference to the end user, but ultimately faces scalability limits.
- Scalable, configurable, multi-tenant-efficient: The fourth and final SaaS maturity level adds scalability through a multitier architecture that supports a load-balanced farm of identical application instances that run on a variable number of servers. The provider can adjust system capacity to match demand by adding or removing servers without further altering the software architecture.