Software-as-a-Service – what is it, and how exactly can it be useful for a business? What are some essential characteristics you should know? Today’s article will answer all the questions and explain all the vital processes. We believe that every detail matters in digital marketing and try to explain all the essentials in our blog. So, without further ado, let’s start!
In case you are interested in finding out what is CPC or how you can boost your website’s performance quickly, check out other articles on this website. We did everything to create a comfortable and understandable guide for our readers!
What Does SaaS Stand for?
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a special model of software licensing that works in a way where a person is provided with access to software on a subscription basis. Meanwhile, the software is located on external servers (not ones found in-house), giving access through a web browser. All users should do is log in to the system by using their personal login and password; thanks to that, they can receive access to the program via the Internet without the need to download everything to the computer.
SaaS Meaning and Working Principle
The best thing about SaaS applications is that they can reduce users’ spending significantly because there is no need to buy new software all the time. The only thing they should invest in is fast network hardware since software performance is directly related to Internet connection speed.
This type of tool is safe and protects customer data perfectly; meanwhile, a SaaS provider takes care of all the upgrades, bug fixes, and other app maintenance processes so that a user can interact with the software through a browser.
The best thing about this type of application is the easy nature of all the updates’ performance. As most of them are preconfigured plug-and-play products, everything can be managed behind the app, meaning:
- Hardware components (like storage or networking);
- Platforms (e.g., operating system or middleware);
- Software requirements (namely data, runtimes, and the app itself).
Primary SaaS Characteristics
The SaaS model has some basic characteristics that make it better than many other online options. Knowing those makes it much easier to decide whether it’s the one a person needs or whether they should consider other tools for their goals. So, what are the basic SaaS capabilities that should be mentioned?
- They offer connected cross-business solutions. Cross-departmental business processes can be easily optimized and bonded, so a person has a better view of the complete picture of the company;
- The update path is much faster. Users get easy access to the new features quarterly and can decide on their own when the business should be sped up;
- Personalization is very easy. Everything can be personalized according to the business’s needs (available in every update);
- Data portability is an option. Data can be quickly shared and analyzed across SaaS, on-premises software, and private cloud applications. To enrich analytics, third-party data can be incorporated as well;
- The feature of in-built analytics is available. Thanks to that, data can be accessed in real-time, as well as data-egress costs will be much cheaper;
- Faster innovation with embedded technologies. Productivity will be noticeably increased thanks to built-in adaptive and self-learning technologies. Chatbots, machine learning, digital assistants – the number of emerging technologies is pretty impressive.
What Is SaaS Main Benefit? SaaS Advantages
Software vendors can go on and on about all the benefits of SaaS and how it can help businesses thrive in the twenty-first century. Some emphasize the advantages of operating expenses (OpEx) over capital expenditures (CapEx). In contrast, others will pay close attention to on-demand capacity and the cloud’s ability of Software-as-a-Service tools. However, to understand why SaaS solutions are vital for regulating all the processes, it is better to be aware of the whole list of their advantages. But what are those exactly?
- Up-front costs can be lowered. As the need for hardware and middleware is reduced, and installation and implementation costs are eliminated, people may easily save money. Moreover, all the errors are usually corrected before the master data updates, which is also a pretty great thing;
- Ongoing costs are easily predicted. Unpredictable costs of software and hardware management and updating will be eliminated, capital expenses will be turned into operational costs, and all the risks will be forgotten thanks to experts who manage everything in the cloud security;
- Rapid deployment of the SaaS. To use the latest innovations and updates, you will need just to turn them on as just hours are required to run them (instead of months). And don’t forget about the automated software patching!
- There is an on-demand scalability option. That means there is an opportunity to upgrade instantly to meet the newest growing data or transactional demand.
The Most Popular SaaS Providers
As SaaS is getting increasingly popular nowadays, it can be pretty challenging to pick just one favorite service provider to talk about. That’s why we believe it would be useful to discuss top-5 Software-as-a-Service companies that you’ve definitely heard about before:
- Adobe. It’s meant for marketing teams of different sizes, creative consultants, and B2B organizations. Best features include a strong mobile presence across all operating systems, innovative design and data analysis components, and individual business solutions for certain industries;
- Google. This one is not only a SaaS provider but still, some useful products were developed by this company for the past few years. The main SaaS-based tools are related to productivity improvement, as well as marketing and management processes. They can offer a strong mobile presence, sophisticated enterprise tools, a wide range of developer tools, and other beneficial features;
- Microsoft. Probably the most famous for its Windows operating system, Microsoft has noticeably improved in terms of SaaS over the last few years. You are likely familiar with some desktop tools like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, as well as some web-native products like Teams or SharePoint. The company can offer integration with the company’s whole software ecosystem, a wide range of productivity tools, and SaaS-based data analytics;
- Salesforce. Enterprise resource planning software of the Salesforce company is perfect for businesses in the sphere of consumer goods, financial services, education, and others similar to them. The company created an inclusive, rewarding, and competitive work environment, which is just what some big companies need for their development;
- Zoom. In the beginning, Zoom was a simple SaaS tool for video conferences with several participants not higher than 25. Since then, it has noticeably improved and added some useful features like virtual events, Zoom chats, webinars, HD meetings, and numerous others.
IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS
IaaS, Paas, and SaaS are the most widely used cloud service offerings types. They are among several cloud computing solutions and are often confused by new people in the digital marketing sphere. In order to understand the difference better, it’s enough to have a closer look at these simple definitions:
- SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, provides access to cloud-hosted application software, which is available to any user and is ready to use any time they need it;
- SaaS, or Platform-as-a-Service, provides access to ready-to-use, complete, cloud-hosted platforms, the main tasks of which is to run, develop, maintain and manage applications;
- IaaS, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service, is a backend IT infrastructure that helps run applications and workloads in the cloud. It also provides on-demand access to cloud-hosted virtual and physical services, networking, and storage.
By learning some basic characteristics of each tool, it will be easier to not only understand all the processes better but also pick the one that fits one’s needs perfectly. That’s why the explanation of each of them is fundamental (in our opinion).
On a side note: PageSpeed Insights vs. Lighthouse, which one to use? Both tools here are practical, valuable options when it comes to improving website performance, but there are a few essential differences. Lighthouse is more flexible and able to provide detailed analysis and more complicated data; it also works well to audit an entire website. Meanwhile, PageSpeed Insight works better when it’s focused on a single webpage.
To Sum Up: About SaaS in Digital Marketing
SaaS is a traditional software tool with huge potential. If you compare how it was a few years ago and now, you will see the enormous progress in this sphere, which is not only beneficial to the SaaS companies but to all the users who choose their services for performing certain tasks in different fields. We really hope you have a better understanding of some essential things about Software-as-a-Service and can define whether it’s an option for you (or how much you need it for personal success). Thank you for visiting our website!