What Is SaaS (Software as a Service)?

Software as a service (SaaS) is everywhere, so much so that you’ve likely used it in your everyday life without even realizing it. A type of web-based software that’s delivered via the Internet, SaaS is typically centrally hosted by a cloud provider, with users accessing it through a web browser or app. In addition, SaaS is usually subscription-based, with customers paying a monthly or annual fee to use the service. 

There is a wide range of SaaS products available, encompassing personal use to business and IT. This includes streaming services like Netflix, collaborative productivity tools such as Google Workspace, storage services like Dropbox, and CRM platforms like Salesforce and Zoho.

SaaS vs. traditional software licensing

If you were a PC user in the before times of dial-up Internet and CD-ROMs, using software looked a lot different. The norm was to pay upfront for a software program and install it on your computer. Then, you would use the same version of the software until the next version of the program was released (if it even was updated).

By contrast, SaaS works a lot differently. There is no installation required; the client simply signs up, pays a fee, and has access to the SaaS provider’s server, with software infrastructure that is continually updated and maintained and used by many other clients. 

Of course, you can still buy software and install it locally if needs be. Many businesses still choose to do this, purchasing software on an enterprise level and installing it on their organizational servers. This can be beneficial if you require more control over databases and want to customize the software to address your business’s specific needs. However, for individuals or small businesses with basic needs that don’t require that level of customization, Saas is a more convenient and affordable option. 

Benefits of SaaS

The type of software you opt for is mostly dependent on the size and scope of your organization. For many individuals and smaller businesses, SaaS is the most convenient way of accessing certain types of applications.

More affordable than installing software locally, SaaS offers easy access and less tech know-how. To buy and install software locally, it generally would cost a lot more up-front. The lower subscription fees of SaaS products make it more accessible to those with lower budgets, though the cost of both generally tends to converge in the long run. 

With on-premise software, you will also need to ensure you have the necessary operating systems and hardware, continually ensuring that everything is sufficiently secure, maintained, and updated. With SaaS, everything is basically done for you. Customers don’t need to worry about maintenance and updates. All they need to access the service is an Internet connection. 


SaaS is perfect for people who want convenient, read-made solutions that are accessible on any device with an Internet device. While some on-premise software is still necessary for larger enterprises with specific needs and security concerns, the SaaS space is growing rapidly every year. With the market expected to be worth as much as $94.9 billion in 2022, it’s clear that SaaS is here to stay.

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