Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the most widely used technologies in the cloud computing space. While Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are also used quite commonly, SaaS has been the more popular option due to its ability to remove the need of installation of applications in a user’s own hardware, leading as a more cost-effective option.
The model was implemented in 1999 by Salesforce, a cloud-based software company. This solution was pertaining to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. Over the years, the technology has evolved into various forms and has been serving different purposes, through industries such as healthcare, education, engineering, finance, and entertainment. Popular entertainment platform Netflix has used SaaS as its backdrop system.
The SaaS technology itself is a subset of cloud computing, which calls for comparisons between SaaS and Cloud technologies. While Cloud technology in general offers a range of services, including SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, as the name suggests, SaaS’s benefits revolve around its features only. The main attributes of SaaS would include, but not limited to, application and data security, subscription-based billing arrangements, automated provisioning, and a single sign-on feature.
Application and data security can be combined with a subscription-based system offered by SaaS has helped to ensure that users can subscribe to their desired software applications, without the security of data being breached. Data encryption is used to ensure the most optimal security level being provided. Another advantage would be the lack of requirement of licenses and upgrades to be purchased. Different billing cycles could be adopted as well, which may comprise of monthly, annual, quarterly payments. With reference to Netflix, users are required to make monthly payments.
SaaS still dominates the cloud space with its versatility. To continue to keep up its relevance, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) could be combined with the SaaS model to lead to more automated systems.