Although it’s been around for decades, the term Software as a Service (SaaS) still isn’t well-recognized.
Really, the premise should be quite familiar. Consider the streaming services you use every day like Netflix and Hulu, or the workspace tools you use like Microsoft Office and Slack—all of these either follow a similar business model or are concrete examples of Software as a Service.
SaaS is gaining ground in the B2B sector. Recent research even suggests that it'll continue to grow by about 12 percent in the next year. If a Software as a Service hasn’t already come in conversation at your business, it’s very likely that it will very soon. Check out a few of the things your boss will want to know when the time comes.
7 Things Your Boss Wants to Know about Software as a Service (SaaS)
- What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based method for delivering software applications to consumers through the internet rather than through direct installation on their company computers.
- What is the SaaS business model?
The business model is where streaming services and SaaS share similarities. They’re both subscription based. Rather than paying for SaaS and other services upfront, the consumer may make a smaller upfront payment, but will pay for their subscription through a membership fee, paid at established intervals—usually monthly. The host can charge extra fees for added users and custom-built functionalities.
- What type of software applications are commonly accessed via a SaaS?
Although varied, the most well-known types of software applications in SaaS are customer relationship management (CRM) software, sales asset management (SAM) software, collaborative workspace software, and communication applications software. Some of which you likely use on a daily basis without being cognizant of the fact that they are, indeed, SaaS applications.
- How does Software as a Service (SaaS) work?
Simply put, the provider does all the heavy lifting, and the consumer utilizes the software. For the monthly membership fee, the provider hosts the platform and licenses the software to their clients. They also offer additional services such as maintenance, updates, advancements, and security. The client carries less responsibilities for the software. Their responsibilities mostly come down to reporting problems when they encounter them.
- What are common characteristics of SaaS?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of SaaS?
- Frequent, routine updates with little to no downtime
- Accessibility—mobile friendly
- Cost effectiveness
- low upfront costs
- Distributed cost of software advancements
- No added staff budget
- No additional IT equipment budget
- Scalable to fit current organization needs (add or reduce users within subscription)
- Storage—autosaved, ease of access from any device
- Collected to a central location for transparency and ease of reporting
- Possible data and information security weaknesses
- Less control—with less responsibility comes less control. Of course, hosts are usually willing to work with clients on suggested additional features—for an extra cost.
- How customizable is SaaS software?
According to Software Advice, there are great customization possibilities. The opportunities range from larger build customization such as branded sites, custom data collection and reporting, custom user groups and permissions, etc. to smaller user-controlled customization such as designated homepage, dashboards, style, theme, etc.
Embrace the SaaS
Software as a service is rapidly becoming a standard in the technical department for many businesses. Whether it’s strictly for your marketing and sales teams or for companywide communication, SaaS will likely place some part in your organization. Be prepared to answer their questions, so you and your organization can get on board, and embrace the SaaS.