What is SaaS and What Can it Do for Me?
SaaS, or software-as-a-service, is a system that allows shared data to be accessed from any internet-capable device with a web browser.
Rather than the companies using the software hosting and maintaining them on their own premises, the software vendors who provide SaaS platforms services take over these responsibilities. They also manage databases and coding for applications.
This means that companies no longer have to pay for expensive hosting hardware to store information or create extensive databases, and many IT functions would be outsourced to the SaaS platform vendor.
Cloud SaaS platforms are also priced differently than traditional software solutions. On-premise software generally requires the purchase of a perpetual license for the software itself as well as an additional 15% to 20% in fees every year for support and maintenance.
SaaS platforms give their buyers the option to pay subscription fees at the time increment they prefer. These fees usually include license, support and other fees which allow buyers to pay over time rather than all at once.
Cloud SaaS computing actually originated way back in the 1960s, when renowned computer scientist John McCarthy announced in a speech to MIT students that “computation may some day be organized as a public utility.” The Turing award winner predicted the use of cloud solutions before their time, since technology wasn’t able to support the concept of shared computing resources until the late 1990s.
Initially, the software world wasn’t sure what to make of SaaS technology, but the last five years have shown exponential growth in the SaaS industry, driven by consumers looking for simple and affordable computing solutions.
One of the most prominent applications of SaaS has been point of sales systems for retail stores and restaurants. Cloud-based POS software lets businesses access sales data any time from any where and often upgrades itself to the newest standards automatically. Small business owners are more able to introduce loyalty programs, sales and discounts and store necessary information on their cloud. The upfront cost is often low or non-existent, so it’s a very attractive POS solution for small business owners.