A Beginner’s Guide to Software As A Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service - Verito Technologies

Amidst the rising importance of cloud computing, its different models of deployment have become a buzzword. Whether you run a small business or a large enterprise, the cloud is a broad concept with its reach spread across the online territory. Per the SaasOps report, most organizations use 80 SaaS apps today – a 10X increase since 2015. 

Suppose you want to switch to the cloud-hosted version of different business activities or software. In that case, you need to understand the differences between various cloud service models, one of which is Software as a Service. 

Here, we will explore this cloud model in detail to help you understand if this is what you are looking for.

What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

Software as a Service, also known as SaaS, is a relatively new distribution model for software delivery to the end consumers via the Internet. This does not require a physical medium or custom installation of software on a local device. 

SaaS products are now available for different industries and are centrally hosted by a provider. Here, the provider handles the responsibility of maintaining and updating the software. On the other hand, customers can use and access it via mobile and web browsers. 

Indeed, the availability of software as a service has revolutionized the software delivery model across the globe. In traditional work environments, introducing a new business application to an organization requires on-site installation followed by custom development, employee training, and on-premise software maintenance. These steps could take a few weeks before employees can use a new tool effectively.

With SaaS, it can happen within a matter of days. This can be considered one reason behind the growing popularity of software as a service.

More About Software as a Service Architecture

The SaaS software delivery model is based on a multi-tenant approach in which a server infrastructure is shared amongst several clients. Thus, SaaS applications can run under one configuration or version for a user. While several customers can subscribe using the same cloud-hosted software, their data remains separate. 

Besides this, cloud-based software services are designed to cater to maintenance updates and bug fixes faster and more efficiently by combining multi-tenant architecture into one scalable solution.

How Does Software as a Service Model Work?

Under the SaaS model, business applications are delivered via cloud services. The software providers host applications and their data on their servers, or they can be Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) using cloud hosting for software delivery.

Since SaaS applications are accessible via a browser, customers do not need to maintain the software independently at their respective ends. 

SaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. IaaS – Comparison

Parameter SaaS PaaS IaaS
  • Also known as cloud application services
  • Utilizes the Internet for application delivery
  • Accessible directly through browsers
  • Does not require any software downloads or installation
  • Abbreviation for Platform as a Service
  • Delivers a framework for developers to create custom applications
  • Server, storage, and networking requirements are managed by an enterprise or a third-party provider
  • Abbreviation for Infrastructure as a Service
  • Fully self-service to access and monitor networking and storage
  • Allows businesses to purchase resource on demand without buying hardware 
Delivery Web-based delivery Similar to SaaS, except that a platform is delivered instead of a software  Delivers cloud computing infrastructure, like servers, network, storage etc.
  • Saves time and money to install and manage software
  • No need for in-house technical staff for software maintenance
  • Cost-effective development of apps
  • Highly scalable environment
  • Reduction in coding required
  • Easy migration to a hybrid model
  • Easy to automate the process to deploy storage, server, network, and processing power
  • Complete control over the infrastructure
  • Managed from a central location
  • Host applications on a cloud server
  • Accessible via the Internet
  • Builds on virtualization technology
  • Provides additional services to assist in the development of apps
  • Resources available as a service
  • Cost determined as per usage
  • Dynamic and flexible
When to Use
  • For short-term projects that require easy and affordable collaboration
  • For applications that need both mobile and web access
  • For collaboration of multiple developers on a particular project
  • Ensure great speed and flexibility for development process
  • For large companies to retain control over infrastructure
  • For easy scalability of hardware and software as per requirements.

Advantages of SaaS Software Delivery Method

  • Easy to implement
  • Self-provisioned for easy to use applications
  • Flexibility to meet changing business needs
  • Suitable for both small and big businesses
  • Cost savings as there is no need to buy or maintain software in-house

Software as a Service Examples

  • Google Workspace or GSuite
  • Dropbox
  • Salesforce
  • GoToMeeting


What is Software as a Service? Explain with an example.

SaaS software delivery method allows users to access cloud-based applications via the Internet. Common examples include Office tools, Gmail, and Microsoft Office 365.

What does software as a service mean?

It is a way to deliver applications to the end consumers over the Internet in the form of service. It does not require installation or maintenance at the consumers’ ends.

What are SaaS products?

SaaS products are software hosted on the cloud by a central provider or ISV offered to customers via the Internet. 

Are all SaaS software products cloud-based?

SaaS is essentially a subset of cloud technology. But not all SaaS models are built in the cloud. Instead, many SaaS products are built on a local terminal and are deployed to a cloud-based server. 

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