In this increasingly digital world, many people have stopped buying physical things, such as CD’s, and instead buy services that give them access to all types of music or films at their fingertips. Now we don’t own physical copies of music or movies, but instead stream and use them whenever we want for a small monthly service fee.
The same could be said for software. Software as a Service (SaaS) is becoming an increasingly common tech solution for companies. It’s an increasingly appealing alternative to the more established, Software as a Product (SaaP) solution
Software as a Service
With SaaS, applications, software, and any files created by the user are stored in the Cloud on the provider’s servers and delivered back and forth over the internet. For this service, organisations are charged a regular fee. The provider, in turn, maintains the application in accordance with agreed-upon security, availability, and performance standards. All a user needs to access the software is an Internet connection.
SaaS solutions come in all shapes and sizes, so if you’re looking to invest in this software option for your business, it’s important to make sure that the product works well with other technology you already have or are planning to implement. SaaS also offers to option of scalability. With SaaS solutions, businesses can reshape their infrastructure and workloads drastically to accommodate their needs without being attached to the equipment and assets that they worked with in the past.
Software as a Product
Software as a Product, or SaaP solutions, is when you make a one time purchase of the software that you will then have to run and maintain yourself. SaaP are often expensive, but with no monthly usage fees. However they often require extensive maintenance and update costs. Generally, you do need Internet access to run a Software as a Product solution, but you can usually use it offline or with an internet connection.
However, whenever a software update is released, users usually must purchase it at an additional cost, which is usually less than the cost of the original purchase. Although upgrades are usually not strictly necessary (the software works offline, independently), it is recommended to purchase them anyway as they allow users to enjoy fixes and new features.
With a SaaS solution, you purchase a hosting service and the rights to use a software that is future-proof. As a result, the provider is responsible for maintaining the hardware , upgrades which are rolled out system-wide as soon as they are released (and are usually included in the monthly price ), and secure data backups.
Put simply, with a SaaS solution, the burden of making sure that services remain operational and at peak performance levels is completely the services responsibility, allowing you the freedom to concentrate on other aspects of your product. A SaaP solution will give you the tools the company feels you need to manage your solution on purchase, but offers no technical support, access to future updates, or a guarantee that your software is future-proof.
There are many things to consider when selecting either a SaaP or SaaS software solution for your company, but with the reliability of internet and the security of cloud servers, SaaS providers do appear to have the edge for many companies.