Only a decade ago, not many people knew about the potential of SaaS, also known as Software as a Service. No one understood that there is a solution somewhere between a website and downloadable software, yet the concepts that influence modern SaaS have been around for over 30 years. Now, everything seems to be “as-a-Service,” and with so much noise, we find ourselves with more questions than answers. That is why we developed the SaaS FAQ Guide, helping you navigate ten of your most pertinent SaaS questions.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is an acronym for ‘Software as a Service,’ but may also be referred to as subscribeware or rentware. The term SaaS may be confusing because on-premises software may also be used for a service. The difference between on-premises and true SaaS is that SaaS providers sell their solutions to individuals and companies under a license and subscription model. Plus, it is centrally hosted, and you cannot download it.
How do I choose between SaaS and on-premise platforms?
First, you need to address a few different questions before you answer this question. Ask yourself: “How unique is my business?” “Do other ‘off-the-shelf’ products meet your needs?” “What level of customization will you need?” If answering these questions is difficult, consult our Build vs. Buy blog post to help you find your answers.
Once you have your answers, then you can choose. Remember always to consider your budget and data ownership needs.
Where is my data stored? Who owns my information?
Your data is stored in the cloud. Every SaaS provider will have different protocols and processes, but you will still own your data in a cloud-based system. Most service level agreements (SLAs) will confirm your ownership of the data on the provider’s servers combined with your right to retrieve your data.
Will my data be safe?
Again, every SaaS provider is different. Some may have a higher or lower security rating, which is essential to understand before signing a contract. But for most companies, there is a higher security risk for data in-house where there are limited budgets and resources.
What is the difference between SaaS and the cloud?
Cloud computing technology, also known as ‘the cloud,” refers to a set of complicated and specific infrastructure applications. Simply put, it is a collection of connected computers, databases, and servers. SaaS refers to business software applications that are delivered through the cloud.
Can I customize SaaS?
The simple answer is yes; you can do it now. When SaaS was first born, customization was not there, but modern SaaS solutions offer a wide array of customizations.
What are a few examples of SaaS?
You most likely use SaaS without realizing it. Some of the most well-known tech companies use a SaaS business model. A few of the most popular SaaS companies include Google (Google Drive, GSuite, Gmail), Microsoft Office 365, Amazon AWS, Intuit, MailChimp, Zoom, Adobe, and many more.
Are there any disadvantages to SaaS?
Yes, there are a few disadvantages. When you choose SaaS, it is essential to remember you do not own the software or application. Once you stop paying, you will lose access to your features and possibly your data. Additionally, integration can sometimes be a problem. SaaS does not always integrate well with built-in-house apps or your corporate network infrastructure. These obstacles can be avoided easily by only taking on a payment plan you can afford, and by checking the operating system requirements beforehand.
What are the advantages of choosing SaaS?
There are many advantages of SaaS; more for some companies and less for others. But a few significant benefits include:
- Reduction in maintenance and cost of ownership since it excludes the need to download and maintain data on your systems.
- Subscription-based payments can be flexible and affordable. You can discontinue the service and stop payments, and usually start again whenever you are ready. This payment model
- helps your business control and predict expenses.
- Get access to the services that fit within your budget and address your needs.
- Access SaaS from anywhere in the world.
What industries use SaaS?
SaaS is not specific to any industry or niche. It has become a standard delivery model for various types of businesses and business applications. The applications include customer relationship management, marketing and sales, enterprise resource planning, team and task management, accounting, IT, human resources, and many more. The malleable features enable it to serve companies well in dynamic circumstances and unique markets.
If you cannot find your question on the list, reach out to one of the SaaS experts on the Bauen Team. They are ready to help.