SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the provision of software applications by a third party organization located in a remote location to users via the internet. SaaS enables clients to essentially rent and use their needed software applications from a server company that provides the software and the hardware in a separate location. The clients access the software via high-speed internet connection and do not need to have the software installed in the clients’ computers thereby avoiding maintenance and upgrade costs. SaaS is much like electricity today. Organizations and individuals do not generate their own electricity but buy electricity from a third party company for their use.
Fast and reliable internet connection is essential to the use of SaaS. SaaS is becoming wide spread with the Web 2.0 development. Many organizations are already offering SaaS as part of their cloud computing package. SaaS is beneficial as it frees the client company from purchasing and maintaining expensive software thereby reducing cost while benefiting from the economies of scale of the vast resources of the provider.
Organizations wishing to adopt and use SaaS will need to undergo strategic adaption to the required environment. Adaptation will however be limited by the availability of fast network connections in many areas where the company operates. Global organizations operating in many countries around the world will especially face more challenges because of the variations in the speed of connectivity around the world. This disparity in network connectivity will limit adoption of SaaS concept to operations in major cities in the developed countries. This limitation may constitute a hindrance to the wide spread use of SaaS by organizations in many countries.
SaaS is a component of cloud computing. Cloud computing encompasses the delivery of a package of hoisted services over the internet. Cloud computing includes infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cloud computing essentially allows customers to do all their computing via the internet without need to install software, expand hardware regardless of the platform. All the software, hardware and operating system are located on the remote facility provided by a third party company.