What is SaaS and What’s in it for You?

Ever wondered what SaaS really means? SaaS means “Software as a Service” and is both a licensing model, as well as a software product delivery model. SaaS is not that new, but it is becoming more popular as cloud-based applications are flourishing. It might seem new to some, since it's a departure from the more traditional “On-Premise” software applications. So what is it then? Put simply, SaaS is a distribution method where software applications are made available over the web and cloud by a software vendor. All the infrastructure, equipment, maintenance and other IT-related costs are covered by the vendor as part of the SaaS license fee. Companies can free themselves from any software to install or hardware to buy or maintain – all they need is an internet connection, and the software is there all the time. In addition to the convenience of accessing the software application over the web and cloud, SaaS also differs in its pricing model. On-premise software is typically purchased through a Perpetual License, which means buyers own licenses of that version of the software. They also pay 20% to 30% per year in maintenance and support fees on top of the license purchase. SaaS, on the other hand, allows buyers to pay an annual or monthly subscription fee, which typically includes the software license, support, product upgrades and all other fees.  With SaaS pricing, the customer is not burdened with a heavy front-loaded cost.  With traditional On-Premise perpetual license, the buyer takes on a great deal of risk and has to cross their fingers that it’s all going to work. With the SaaS pricing model, the costs are spread out over time, and the vendor is more on the