SaaS - Software as a service
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SaaS - Software as a service

SaaS is an acronym for Software as a service. It is a platform that lets software producers distribute the software to users through a remote network such as a wide area network or the internet.

The idea is increasingly becoming popular as its benefits are numerous and seem to outweigh the few challenges it faces. This is different from the old Software as a Product (SaaP) platform where software creators had to package their programs and physically distribute them.

Computer aided software as a service

SaaS programs are at times referred to as hosted software, web-based software or on-demand software. Since they are hosted by a server, all one needs is an internet connection to access the software.

They come with numerous benefits which include:

Updating the programs is easy

This is because the software is centralized and one only needs to update the host-based program. This way, all users will have access to the updated version.

SaaS models are cheaper

Compared to the software as a product platform which requires the vendor to package the software on hardware, distribute it and the user to buy the hardware and license the product, SaaS only needs the user to pay for the program license. This reduces the cost and time in which the product reaches users. This is advantageous to the user as the reduced cost of production reduces the licensing fee too.

It is compatible with almost any device. SaaP programs have certain specifications for computers or devices which they are installed in. SaaS does away with this as one's computer doesn't need have big specifications or a large memory to run large demanding applications.

The major problem with the SaaS model when installled solely on a desktop is that the security of data stored in the web-hosted programs depends on the security infrastructure of the software provider. Also a challenge faced is if there exists data recovery options in case data gets lost. This too depends on the infrastructure in place by the service provider.

Software as a service diagram

All SaaS problems seem to originate from the service host hence one needs to coordinate well with the provider to ensure everything goes smooth. This may be an issue especially for businesses which use ERPs (Enterprise Resource planning). ERP uses the SaaS concept to run businesses such as banks which need to centralize their data.

Such software include the facility management software which have become popular in businesses. The software is provided centrally by a firm and have seen businesses grow to greater heights. A facility management software bares numerous advantages such as fast analysis of businesses' data, identifies underutilized facilities, automates the way critical alerts are generated and prioritizes investment to ensure decisions made are smart.

The software as a product model has developed of the years and promises to be an integral part especially to businesses in the near future. It's incorporation to enterprises increases flexibility and reliability. However, it is difficult to run purely SaaS models in businesses on a standalone desktop and the platform will have to co-exist with the manual methods in place.

This is why ERPFM have produced their systems to work in the cloud and always be available from where ever you are.
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