Last Updated: 09 Nov 2020 | 5 min read
Fast setup and slick UIs create incredible first impressions on users. However, enterprise managers are aware of the fact that they are at the tip of the iceberg. One of the features of a SaaS is interoperability, and such aspects are the ones that business owners need to lay a solid foundation.
Are you aware of the term “Software as a Service (SaaS)?” You probably heard it several times, but you may not know what it’s all about. Well, a SaaS, designed by a cloud-based application development company, is a cloud-based service that helps consumers gain access to software applications over the web. These applications remain hosted on the cloud and used for various purposes by companies as well as individuals.
SaaS created by a cloud-based application development company is the best alternative to traditional software installation systems. You may compare it with a TV channel that’s available for subscription. The user connects to a remotely-located base on a central server and uses a license to access data.
In other words, SaaS offers a method of software delivery by which you can access data from any device connected to the internet. Of course, this particular device should have a web browser. Software vendors host everything associated with the application, including servers, code, and databases.
Now, if you’re going to root for a new SaaS application for your business, then you need to make sure that the providers of cloud computing management services include the following features.
(1) Multi-tenancy model: Multi-tenancy is a unique kind of software architecture in which a single deployment of a software solution serves several customers. Each customer becomes a tenant, and they may gain the ability to customize specific parts of the application. The design of the applications of today is such that every tenant gets a segregated storage area by converging different databases together or having various sachems inside one database or the same data with discriminators.
(2) Automated provisioning: The users should be able to access the SaaS created by the providers of cloud computing management services from wherever they are. It means that it’s mandatory to automate the process of provisioning users with services. Generally, B2B and B2C customers use SaaS, and this requirement demands creating companies or users only by invoking web services and providing access credentials. Almost every SaaS application offers this critical feature. Another crucial characteristic of the SaaS is the de-provisioning ability. It involves removing the access from the users or organizations whenever they decide to stop using the SaaS application.
(3) Single sign-on: Every enterprise owner will expect to have one identity system in place to authenticate various systems that the users will consume. Also, enterprises need to have one page that will offer login credentials and access to all SaaS applications provisioned for every user. Therefore, it makes things simpler while integrating SaaS applications with different identity management systems. Besides, it can turn into a massive overhead for an enterprise to store and maintain multiple credentials per system that the users of the organization utilize. That’s why it’s vital to enable Single Sign-On for SaaS applications to authenticate against any existing identity system and provide an experience of logging in once to use all systems.
(4) Subscription-based billing: The pricing of a cloud-based SaaS application doesn’t involve the complexity of license costs, upgrade costs, etc. Almost every SaaS application adheres to the subscription model, and this feature enables customers to purchase these applications whenever they need them and discontinue using them whenever the enterprise feels the need to do so. A SaaS application can have various pricing models and billing cycles, such as monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, annually, etc.
(5) High availability: Since multiple tenants share SaaS applications, users expect them to be available at all times. Naturally, the SaaS should offer a high degree of SLA to its customers. The application should remain available to users spread across the entire world 24/7. Additionally, SaaS applications should expose management and monitoring API to check the availability factor continuously.
Now that you know about some of the features that every cloud-based SaaS application should possess, it’s time to turn your attention towards the benefits of using a SaaS.
(1) Reduced time to benefit: SaaS differs from all traditional models because the application remains configured and installed. You can just provision the server for an instance in the cloud. Within a few hours, you will have the application at your disposal and ready for use. As you can understand, it reduces the time spent on installation and configuration.
(2) Reduced costs: SaaS always offers beneficial cost savings as it usually resides in a shared or multi-tenant environment. It’s where the hardware and software license-related expenses are low compared to the traditional models. Furthermore, you can scale your customer base rapidly because SaaS allows small and medium business companies to use a software program that they wouldn’t use if they had to buy it.
(3) Integration and scalability: SaaS solutions usually reside in cloud environments that are scalable and have integrations with other SaaS offerings. Compared to the traditional model, you don’t have to spend money on another server or software program. You only have to enable a new SaaS offering in terms of server capacity planning. The SaaS provider will own it.
Another benefit worth mentioning in the concluding lines is that with SaaS, the provider will upgrade the solution, and it will become available to customers. The expenses and efforts associated with these upgrades and new releases are lower than traditional models. The latter usually forces people to purchase and install an upgrade package.