A lot of people seem uncertain as to why SaaS makes sense. Some simply pass it off as a buzzword, because it is thrown around with related words like “cloud” and “web 2.0”, which have also become buzzwords, due to people using them without knowing what they really mean. Well, web 2.0 never meant anything to begin with, but that’s neither here nor there.
So, what is SaaS, and can I explain why SaaS makes sense? Sure can. First, let’s talk for a minute about what SaaS is, both for the novices in the room and just to keep the principle of SaaS fresh in our minds when we talk about why it makes so much sense in modern business models and on modern technology.
SaaS is basically any functionality that in traditional settings would be facilitated by a client-side executable, or installed program run on a local machine. With SaaS, this functionality is computed by a server, and partially by a web interface, and I/O between it and the user is handled via gateway pages in a browser, or through a custom web-smart application.
SaaS makes sense first of all because of the easier to manage business model of subscribing to a service versus buying multiple licenses and platform copies every time a new version is released.
Remember, software is always being updated if the project is still manned. New features, improvements on existing functionality and fixes of bugs and glitches are always an ongoing process, so software must be updated. This gets costly, and the logistics of delivering patches isn’t much prettier.
With a centralized, platform-independent SaaS system, applying updates and new versions is just a matter of maybe the service goes offline for 10 minutes while adjustments are made, at the worst.
And let’s talk about those platforms for a minute. It used to be a case of Mac, Windows or Linux as your platform. Three distinct versions to support. Then came PDAs with their odd SOC systems needing yet more alternative platform support. Then, mobiles absorbed PDAs, leading to a plethora of mobile platforms and designs.
Today, this mobile platform base in all its internal diversity is a real obstacle for developers using traditional compiling methods. As a result, SaaS, which is scalable to any net smart device with a decent browser, along with Java APIs, make perfect sense for this new ubiquitous and ambiguous range of disparate mobile and PC platforms we’re awash in today.
Finally, it’s a matter of security and centrality. With SaaS, cloud computing ensures cooperative collaboration on projects, asynchronous access to shared data, and excellent security and uptime factors. Where old systems would fail or be incredibly insular, these systems are built to integrate into the new cloud web structure of the future. Client side is a dying thing, and so, for the moment, SaaS is the best way to go.
So, it’s pretty obvious why SaaS makes sense, isn’t it? It’s cost effective, dynamic and platform independent, and allows long distance collaboration in ways never before possible. So web technology is still a little clunky, this is changing quickly with new innovations like Ajax and HTML5.