Software as a Service (SaaS)

performance management saasSoftware as a Service (SaaS) allows users to connect to and use cloud-based applications over the Internet. Some common examples are email, calendars and office tools (such as Microsoft Office 365).SaaS offers a comprehensive software solution that is purchased from a cloud service provider on a pay-per-use model. You rent the use of an application for your organization and users connect to it over the Internet, usually with a web browser. All the underlying infrastructure, middleware, software and application data are located in the provider's datacenter. The service provider manages the hardware and software and, with the appropriate service contract, will also ensure the availability and security of the application and its data. SaaS enables an organization to get up and running with applications at minimal initial cost.

Common SaaS scenarios

performance management saasIf you've used a Web-based e-mail service, such as Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail, then you've already used a form of SaaS. With these services, you log into your account over the Internet, often from a web browser. The email software is located on the service provider's network, where messages are also stored. You can access your e-mail and stored messages from a web browser on any computer or device connected to the Internet.The examples above are free services for personal use. For use within an organization, you can rent productivity applications, such as e-mail, collaboration, and calendaring; and rich business applications, such as CRM, ERP, and document management. You pay for your use of these applications on a subscription basis or on a per-use basis.

Advantages of SaaS

Get access to sophisticated applications. To offer SaaS applications to users, you don't have to buy, install, upgrade or maintain any hardware, middleware or software. With SaaS performance management, even sophisticated business applications such as ERP and CRM are within reach of organizations that don't have the resources to purchase, deploy, and manage the necessary infrastructure and software.
Pay only for what you use. It also saves money, because the SaaS service allows you to scale or vertically reduce resources based on your level of use.
Use free client software. Users can run most SaaS applications directly from a web browser without downloading and installing any software, although some applications require plug-ins. This means you don't have to buy or install special software for your users.
Easily mobilize your staff. With SaaS, it's easy to "mobilize" your staff, because users can access SaaS applications and data from any computer or mobile device connected to the Internet. You don't have to worry about developing applications that will run on different types of computers and devices, since the service provider has already done that.

In addition, there is no need to hire qualified personnel to manage the security aspects inherent in mobile computing. A carefully chosen service provider will ensure the security of your data, regardless of the type of device you use. But if there's any problems, remember that you can always come back to you can always ask for help.

Access application data from anywhere With data stored in the cloud, users can access their information from any computer or mobile device connected to the Internet. And, when application data is stored in the cloud, it's not lost if a user's computer or device fails.