According to SaaSAddict, the term “Software as a Service,” or “SaaS,” traces its origins to a Software & Information Industry Association document from the year 2000.
At that time, however, you were more likely to hear terms like Application Service Provider (ASP), Application Infrastructure Provider (AIP), and Internet Business Service (IBS) than SaaS. Eventually, the Software & Information Industry Association collected all these terms under the umbrella term SaaS. SaaS was defined as an app or software service that was deployed from a centralized data center across a network, and that was accessed and used on a subscription basis.
You Have Been Using SaaS for Years Now
Not all SaaS products are used for business, and not all charge money for subscriptions. Your Gmail account (or your old Hotmail account), Google Docs, the Wunderlist organizing tool, and mathematical tools like percentagecalculator.net are all examples of SaaS products. Obviously, some are more powerful than others, and many consumer and business SaaS tools offer both free and premium versions. But the bottom line is that most of us use SaaS all day long, at home and at work, whether we realize it or not. The main reason people use SaaS tools for work, personal life, and school is that they’re convenient, usually free or cheap, and keep us from having to install software and filling up our hard drives.
Advantages of SaaS
In addition to the advantages of SaaS listed above, businesses are turning to SaaS products more frequently because of the agility of these products. Even the United States government — not exactly an icon of nimble agility — is embracing SaaS. As Vicky White, CIO of the US Department of Energy Fermilab, stated, SaaS providers build code in an “agile, modern way,” constantly providing new features and updates that are installed automatically. The latest SaaS products are paying more attention to user interfaces, so that new users don’t have to spend much time climbing a learning curve. They’re also increasingly providing interfaces that are simple, intuitive, and yes, fun to use.
Trends in SaaS
The SaaS train is only gaining speed as we settle into the second decade of the 21st century. According to a 2012 Gartner survey of 556 organizations in 10 countries covering North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia / Pacific region, 71% of corporations started using SaaS products in the previous three years. More than three-quarters of those companies plan to increase SaaS spending in 2013. More than 80% of respondents in the Asia / Pacific region and Brazil plan to increase spending on SaaS through 2014. Gartner estimated that by 2015, SaaS will be a $21 billion market. In North America and Europe, the biggest drivers for SaaS adoption are replacement of aging legacy applications.
Whether you know it or not, if you go online, SaaS is all around you. Think about it: when was the last time you downloaded a major software package for use locally on your computer — let alone installed software using a CD? When today’s computer user wants to be able to do something software-related, they generally look online for a free app or for a website that does what they need, whether that’s converting British pounds to Australian dollars, or turning a Word document into a PDF document.
In a Software as a Service world, doesn’t it make sense that your business’s IT service desk software should be run from the cloud, too? Your IT professionals have better things to do than install help desk software on servers and then add patches and upgrades as they’re released. At Samanage, we offer state-of-the-art SaaS service desk software that your IT service desk can start using today, putting an end to weeks-long deployments and lengthy service outages during upgrades. Because it’s run from the cloud, new features and upgrades are provided frequently and automatically, so everyone using the software always has the same, most recent version.
Yes, SaaS is the future of business computing, but with many providers, like Samanage, SaaS is reality right now, too.