Cloud computing is being adopted by businesses all over the world, but this broad technological term actually encompasses a range of different IT solutions. One of the most popular is software as a service (SaaS), which is being embraced by a huge range of industries as a result of the many benefits that it can provide. If your company is looking to get onboard the cloud revolution, here’s what software as a service could do for you.

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What is it?

Software as a service is similar to other cloud solutions in that it involves accessing IT resources over an internet connection. Traditionally, business software has been purchased outright on physical media, such as a CD-ROM, and manually installed on individual devices. With software as a service, business pay a subscription fee to an external cloud provider and simply access the software and all associated files by logging into their account.

In a sense, SaaS is closer to renting software than owning it and drastically changes the relationship between the software publisher and their business customers. Although you may not be aware of it, you may already use software as a service in either a consumer or business capacity. Dropbox, Office 365 and Sales-force are just three of the most common SaaS examples available today.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of software as a service is the aforementioned pricing model. The subscription service means that businesses do not need to pay large upfront costs for their software, enabling firms with limited resources to access the tools that they need.

Another advantage of SaaS is the ongoing relationship between supplier and customer. With traditional distribution methods, the customer has to accept that the software that they have purchased will remain as it is for the duration of its life cycle. With software as a service, businesses may be able to request amendments and updates by maintaining a good relationship with their cloud provider. Similarly, SaaS means that businesses have access to expert tech support from the software developers.

Software as a service is also more scalable than traditional software packages. Instead of having to purchase more physical copies or licenses and manually installing them on new devices, businesses simply contact their managed service provider (MSP) and alter their subscription to include the new users.

How are businesses using SaaS?

Software as a service has applications in many fields, but some of the most common relate to office tasks. Organisations are able to purchase SaaS in areas such as HR, marketing, sales and accounting, but there are also more niche offerings available. Industry-specific SaaS examples are being used in the education, legal and medicine industries, for example.

Another area where software as a service is proving popular is in the field of business automation. Many business tasks that could be carried out by digital software are still being performed manually, wasting business resources. Accounts management is one such area and you can read more about the ways SaaS can streamline this area of business here:

Software as a service is part of a great wave of cloud innovations benefiting businesses all over the world. If you want your organisation to keep pace with its competitors, adopting SaaS is a must.