Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the notion that instead of licensing the use of software, and essentially owning it, with all the accompanying requirement to support it on your own hardware, you subscribe to it while it operates on vendor supported hardware. Since SaaS replaces the traditional license model, we need to define the “license model.”
What is the license model? Perhaps you remember getting a new laptop or PC and then going to a big box store and buying a small box that had a CD, or else a set of instructions and a license code. You downloaded a word processing program or a game and it was yours. You owned it. You had to buy any upgrades that came along, and if your hard drive failed, you may well have lost access to the application. SaaS replaces that model. Instead of a license that “buys” you the software, SaaS is a bundle: you get the use of the software, the hosting ( you no longer are responsible for the laptop’s hard drive that runs the application), the security, the upgrades, and the maintenance. Google Drive and Google Docs are perfect examples of SaaS. Before Docs you bought the word processing software, installed it on your hard drive ( you had responsibility for the hardware. You had to remember to repeatedly hit save, and you had to backup your hard drive. You had a lot of responsibilities that were both a nuisance and an expense.) Transpose this simple example onto a complex enterprise or an NPO, and you can see how the license model imposes a lot of unwelcome costs, risks, and responsibilities that could easily distract you from your mission-oriented goals. Enterprises and other organizations are moving rapidly to this approach to the use of software because it eliminates so many cascading expenses that derive from software ownership and maintenance. Talk to a managed service provider about the advantages SaaS haas for your bottom line.