"Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software licensing model in which access to the software is provided on a subscription basis, with the software being located on external servers rather than on servers located in-house. Software-as-a-Service is typically accessed through a web browser, with users logging into the system using a username and password. Instead of each user having to install the software on his computer, the user is able to access the program via the internet" (Investopedia). "In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and code that constitute an application" (Software Advice). "SaaS applications are also known as web-based software, on-demand software, and hosted software" (Wikipedia).
"As with other cloud services, organizations typically pay for SaaS through a subscription fee, on a monthly or annual basis. This contrasts with the traditional model of paying for software through a perpetual license, with an upfront cost and optional ongoing support fee" (InfoWorld).
"SaaS has enjoyed a good deal of popularity, as it has many inherent advantages. These include:
- Updates: With the software housed on the server, it can be upgraded centrally, as opposed to the traditional model where the software would need to be upgraded on each machine. In other words, SaaS can easily be maintained with the latest version of the software at all times.
- Hardware: With the software run on a server, individual PCs do not need to be upgraded for hardware requirements, and there are no issues with not meeting minimum specs.
- Costs: With a subscription model, the (upfront) acquisition costs are lowered for businesses. In addition, users can be added as needed on a monthly basis so the business can expand as required.
- Quick deployment: As software does not need to be installed and configured on individual machines, with SaaS it can be much more rapidly deployed.
- Accessibility: Gaining access to a SaaS app just requires a browser and an internet connection, allowing users to be able to login in from anywhere. Also, the user’s data is stored in the cloud, and not tied to an individual user’s PC facilitating collaboration with other users." — TechRadar
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