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What is Software as a Service (SaaS)? Key Features, Pros, and Cons of the Model

What is SaaS model

SaaS (Software as a Service) is a subscription software license model allowing you to use the product “on-demand” as an Internet service in most cases.

Most often, such software is a cloud solution, that is, it is located on a remote server. The user gets access to the service using a browser or through API.

When users consume this or that service located on the Net but not as software installed on their device, they immediately become SaaS consumers. We can provide several examples of well-known products working according to this model:

  • Google Docs office suite
  • website builder
  • (graphic editor)
  • email marketing platform.

Besides, this list also includes various CRM and ERP systems for project and resource management, as well as many other services.

Online games represent another unobvious example. They, of course, are not commonly referred to as SaaS solutions, but they are now available as services with the same ideology. Typically, they are MMORPG.

Key features of the SaaS system

Let us list the main features distinguishing a SaaS product from standard software:

  • Users pay a monthly fee for the app or based on the volume of services consumed. If the service does not satisfy the user with some features or there is no need for the user to use it any longer, they can simply stop paying for using the service.
  • You can use the service remotely via a browser without being attached to the workplace. Many users can use one account at the same time.
  • The software is deployed in a single data center without using each specific customer’s facilities. The customer gets a ready-to-work solution and does not have to deal with its technical aspect.
  • Such systems are commonly cross-platform and cross-browser, and consequently, they have minimal technical requirements to use them.
  • The product is upgraded, as well as modified with all sorts of system updates, centrally on the provider side. Technical support is already included in the total amount of the monthly fee.

Some SaaS provide a limited set of features for free, and you will have to pay a subscription fee to access the advanced ones — that is a freemium model. However, SaaS commonly provide several tariffs featuring different sets of functions.

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Advantages and Benefits of SaaS

The system user who gains access to the app is kind of renting it, paying a certain fee for the usage period. This approach provides a positive economic effect.

There is no need to deal with the technical issues of the software. You can immediately start using the necessary functionality for your business purposes.

What Is SaaS model
Besides these benefits, we can name several other important advantages:

  1. SaaS allows users to access the appropriate app from any place with access to the Internet and not to be attached to a certain workplace or computer.
  2. Small periodic financial costs instead of substantial one-time ones. Besides, all payments are predictable.
  3. Customers pay for rental services only and without overpaying for services which are not used during the work. If necessary, you can easily increase or decrease your tariff plan in terms of additional resources or user accounts.
  4. Using a cloud infrastructure, you do not need to install, update, and maintain hardware and software.
  5. As a rule, such systems are cross-platform and cross-browser, meaning that they do not require a technically specific operating system or browser to work with the app.
  6. If you store your data in the cloud, the provider automatically backs it up. It means that in 99.9% of cases, there is no need to worry about your data integrity.
  7. Some services are simply impossible to implement using own company’s resources. If desired, you can develop such a solution independently, but it will require significant financial and time resources.

SaaS Solutions Disadvantages

As in the case of any other work model, this approach has its downsides as well:

  1. Due to Internet access disruptions, you can lose working hours.
  2. When using a SaaS system, your commercial data will be accessible by a third-party provider, and that raises certain concerns about privacy in particular.
  3. It may be difficult to adjust a product to a particular customer’s individual needs.

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Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

Let us summarize

You have already come across SaaS technology many times, and the number of such services continues to grow due to their relevance and ease of use. In the business context, this model is interesting not only due to the possibility of using third-party services but also as a basis for creating your own corporate solutions.

As an example, we can talk about such developments as a company’s internal document management system, CRM for the specific customer needs, training courses, or some object inspection software. Each company’s employee can access the data on the central server online. This approach increases the efficiency of your company’s business processes and provides additional profit.

We can develop a high-performance SaaS application for you. It will feature all the necessary functionality which will help your company get to a whole new level. Contact us, and Lvivity experts will promptly advise you on all issues.

July 31, 2019

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