The internet has had a tremendous impact on the business world since 1990. But to put an end to this, the major downside of the internet sector occurred in the early 2000s called the Dot Com era, which was a worldwide industrial crisis.
On account of this crisis, many investors lost trust in the internet sector and were not interested in funding the newly emerging industries. So to bring back the trust of investors, many IT industries started building new business modules that would also grab the investors’ attention. This is when cloud computing was brought into existence.
Cloud computing means computing in large groups of remote servers that are networked to allow centralized data storage and online access to computer services and resources.
So, a business module that is developed with cloud computing as its basic foundation is called SAAS (Software As A Service).
The beginning of SAAS
These days, SAAS is being widely used by many organizations. But initially, the ever first SAAS based company was created by Mark Benioff, called Salesforce.
Today the company has become popular for its sales in automation technology. While other companies wanted to sell their products to their customers, Salesforce came up with an idea to rent out cloud-based software for clients for which the clients have to pay considerably small amounts monthly which was also cost-effective.
Growth of SAAS platform:
As much popular as it is, the popularity and growth of the SaaS are mainly focused on two streams, namely:
- Corporate world and
Major corporations are always looking for new ways to deploy their products. SAAS provides an efficient alternative to standard software installation in the business environment where building a server and installation and configuration of the applications are not required. Instead, simply requesting an instance of the server, that is hosted elsewhere might help you do all the installation and configuration works within hours.
Start-ups have started moving towards SAAS implementation as they help in scaling their business while keeping the investment amounts and resources at bay. These kinds of start-ups have become competitors for many big corporations. Although, some start-ups fail due to legal reasons or being unable to find a proper investor.
Advantages of implementing SAAS:
1) Gaining access to applications:
It is not necessary to install, buy, update and maintain any hardware or software. The necessary information will be hosted in the organizations’ server, provided if they have one or they can buy servers for their organizations from the service providers like AWS (Amazon Web Services) Just by using a browser, a customer can access these data, either free of cost or by paying, depending on the services required.
When it comes to the services that have to be paid, organizations provide schemes whether the user wants it for a day or a month or annually. Service providers like AWS, charge only for the amount of data used by the clients. So it is easy for the clients to access the data and to stop it whenever they want. In this way, companies can invest in producing maximum viable products (MVP) and prototypes rather than investing in capital expenditure.
In this fast-moving world, it is not ideal to be dependant on a single device for storing data. SAAS provides a user, access to his data from anywhere in the world provided that he has a specific username and a secure password to access his data. SAAS is also extremely flexible that it could work as intended in computers with any Operating System (OS).
Deployment of software in vast organizations in olden ways wherein the deployment was made for each system individually and manually takes up a lot of time and meanwhile, stalls productivity. But in the case of SAAS, all that is needed is a computer and a person to initiate the process. Once the process is complete, the product is available until the subscription date is over.
Difficulties in implementing SAAS:
Just like every other technology, SAAS also has its downsides.
1) Control issues:
Though software maintenance and upgrades made by the provider has made our lives easier, our access and control over the applications we use are revoked.
2) Connectivity issues:
Moving data to Cloud saves up a lot of storage space and time. But, if the main server is down and there’s an outage issue or even if it’s an issue with your internet connection, it is not possible to access the data unless there’s a stable connection again. A long time outage of a critical SAAS application can be devastating.
3) Security issues:
Once the data is transferred from local premises into the cloud, this creates doubts over the security of sensitive data. This issue can be resolved by using a hybrid cloud where the user can keep his sensitive data on his end or adding multifactor authentication to level up security.
4) Legal issues:
Legal agreements and clauses differ with each supplier. While moving data to the Cloud, it is necessary to ensure that the data is in safe hands. If there is any data breach, note down the timeframe which enables the service provider to notify the breach.
5) Performance issues:
A browser-based application that has been hosted externally by internet connection, raises issues related to performance. In recent times, the speed of the internet is no longer a problem. The difference in performance is noticeable when compared to using company LAN and desktop. System administrator tools can be used to measure and improve performance. Additionally, companies must also invest in fast and reliable internet connections. It is advisable to perform compatibility checks with SAAS applications to make sure if the output is desirable.
It is no doubt that SAAS solutions are easily adaptable and extremely flexible. Because of this, the growth of SAAS applications has been exponentially increasing for the past 15 years or so.
According to Gartner, SAAS remains the largest market segment. The worldwide revenue forecast for SAAS in 2020 is nearly $104 billion. Companies of all sizes starting with start-ups to MNCs are implementing SAAS as it provides agile solutions (software development methodologies based on information collected over the years) and digital transformation.