Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service(SaaS) is one of the most important module or layer of cloud computing. SaaS means Software on demand, it provide distributed software to business customer. In SaaS, software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud server. SaaS is accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser. Some of the below components which use as SaaS-

1. Billing and Invoicing System
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications
3. Help Desk Applications
4. Human Resource (HR) Solutions

SaaS is service oriented architecture (SOA). Software as a Service (SaaS) delivers business processes and applications, such as CRM, collaboration, and email, as standardized capabilities for a usage-based cost at an agreed, business-relevant service level. SaaS provides significant efficiencies in cost and delivery in exchange for minimal customization and represents a shift of operational risks from the consumer to the provider. All infrastructure and IT operational functions are abstracted away from the consumer.

Benefits of SaaS cloud computing layer

1. No additional hardware costs-
the processing power required to run the applications is supplied by the cloud provider.

2. No initial setup costs-
applications are ready to use once the user subscribes.

3. Pay for what you use-
if a piece of software is only needed for a limited period then it is only paid for over that period and subscriptions can usually be halted at any time.

4. Usage is scalable-
if a user decides they need more storage or additional services, for example, then they can access these on demand without needing to install new software or hardware.

5. Updates are automated-
whenever there is an update it is available online to existing customers, often free of charge. No new software will be required as it often is with other types of applications and the updates will usually be deployed automatically by the cloud provider.

6. Cross device compatibility-
SaaS applications can be accessed via any internet enabled device, which makes it ideal for those who use a number of different devices, such as internet enabled phones and tablets, and those who don’t always use the same computer.

7. Accessible from any location-
rather than being restricted to installations on individual computers, an application can be accessed from anywhere with an internet enabled device.

8. Applications can be customized and white-labelled-
with some software, customisation is available meaning it can be altered to suit the needs and branding of a particular customer.

Risks of SaaS cloud computing layer-

1. Security
Actually data is stored in cloud, so security may be an issue for some users. However, cloud computing is not more secure than in-house deployment. Learn more cloud security.

2. Latency issue
Because the data and application are stored in cloud at a variable distance from the end user, so there is a possibility that there may be more latency while interacting with the application than a local deployment. So, SaaS model is not suitable for applications whose demand response times are in milliseconds.

3. Total Dependency on Internet
Without internet connection, most SaaS applications are not usable.

4. Portability between SaaS vendors is difficult
Transferring workloads from one SaaS cloud to another is not so easy because work flow, business logics, user interfaces, support scripts can be provider specific.


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