What is SaaS?

Before delving into detailed information about SaaS, we’d like to ask if you’ve ever used SaaS? Have you ever used Zoom? How about watching something on Netflix? If so, get ready because you’ve used SaaS software before.

What does SaaS mean?

SaaS stands for “software as a service.” It is defined as a software distribution model where an external provider hosts applications and delivers them to customers over the internet. SaaS, along with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) as a service, forms one of the significant categories of cloud computing. SaaS customers pay a monthly subscription fee to access the application. Subscription fees can vary based on factors such as the amount of data to be stored, the desired level of technical support, or the number of users who will access the application. SaaS is software delivered as a service, allowing users to connect to cloud-based applications over the internet. It enables users to access and use these applications online. Examples of such applications include email, calendar, and office tools (e.g., Microsoft Office 365).

What is the Purpose of SaaS?

SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a comprehensive software distribution model where users subscribe to and pay for complete software solutions from a cloud service provider during their subscription period and usage. The operational principle allows you to lease an application for use in your organization. Subscribed users typically connect to this application through a web browser. The entire infrastructure, middleware, application software, and application data reside in the service provider’s data center. The service provider manages hardware and software, ensuring the availability and security of your applications and data throughout the usage period through a suitable service agreement. SaaS applications serve as a full-fledged service provider, offering significant advantages to businesses by consolidating various needs into a single focus. This prevents businesses from making expenses in multiple areas for software, providing a fully-equipped, advanced software service. SaaS allows your organization to quickly deploy applications with minimal upfront costs.

The accessibility scope of SaaS applications is extensive. SaaS applications can operate over the internet regardless of the operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android). SaaS applications can be used in various ways and are advantageous for mobile devices. An application opened on a computer can also be opened on a tablet or mobile device. This eliminates concerns about whether the operating system will support the application. One advantage of SaaS applications is their cloud-based operation. It allows businesses to perform software updates without affecting their operations. This is a significant advantage for businesses as it avoids disrupting business processes. Additionally, with SaaS, all data is saved to the cloud during the usage period, providing many advantages for both the business and the employees.

With the saving and storage advantage, data in SaaS is continuously processed to the cloud. What makes this feature doubly advantageous is not only the backup aspect but also the ability for employees to log into a single account and switch between devices without losing their work, documents, or data, regardless of the device used.

What Could Be Examples of SaaS?

Many facilitating applications used by companies today can be considered as SaaS software. SaaS-like applications statistically make up about 70% of the software used by companies. Among these, we can mention Office Applications, Zoom, Slack, Trello, Adobe Creative Cloud, ZenDesk, and more. Not only limited to these, but also widely-used applications like Netflix, Spotify, and Dropbox fall under the software scope for services. Users subscribe for a fee, gaining access to the service for a specific period and effectively purchasing the service according to their preferences.

SaaS is commonly used for managing internal operations in companies. Applications such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Dropbox, G-suite, Canva, Webex, Zoom, etc., can be considered examples of SaaS software.

What is the Difference Between SaaS and PaaS?

PaaS (Platform as a Service) users have a more versatile use case than SaaS. Users acquire the framework of necessary resources as a service but can customize the internals based on their usage needs. They do not need to create and manage operating systems themselves but still manage their application usage and data. PaaS falls somewhere between IaaS and SaaS in terms of ease of use.

Why is SaaS Important?

SaaS has gained significance by providing businesses with access to powerful software that was previously costly or required intensive resources to run internally. SaaS providers can manage hardware, software tools, and applications in their own data centers or cloud environments. This allows easy access to the software through a browser or mobile application. Additionally, the subscription model of SaaS enables you to scale your software usage according to the needs of your business.

How Does SaaS Work?

Software as a Service (SaaS) operates through a cloud-based delivery model. SaaS providers typically host applications and data on their own servers or on servers of third-party cloud providers. They also manage the platform, operating system, and middleware.

After subscribing to a SaaS solution, the provider grants access to the application by allowing users to register and log in via a web browser. Usually, SaaS providers host a single version of the solution on their servers and adopt a multi-tenant model to serve individual subscribers.

What Are the Most Common Types of SaaS Applications?

If you have access to a web-based email service like Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail, you are actually using a type of SaaS. These services are typically accessible using a web browser, and you often log in to your account over the internet. The email software is hosted on the service provider’s server, where your messages are also stored. You can access your emails and stored messages through a web browser on a computer or an internet-connected device.

Such services are often offered for personal use and are frequently free. However, when it comes to corporate usage, you might need to lease more advanced enterprise applications, such as productivity applications like email, collaboration, and calendar tools, as well as more sophisticated enterprise applications like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and document management. This allows for increased efficiency, and you will need to pay a subscription fee for these applications. The subscription fees vary based on your usage level.