What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

Tens of thousands of businesses manage their entire operations with on-demand software. So, what is Software as a Service, and why have so many switched from traditional software?

Simply, on-demand software is a software application that you access via the internet. The application and your data are hosted remotely by a service provider. You need only a connection to the internet and a browser program, like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, to access the application. You may have heard Software as a Service referred to by the following names:

  • ASP (the acronym stands for Application Service Provider)
  • On-Demand
  • Web-based

If you’ve ever ordered anything online, then you’ve already used an on-demand application.

The functionality of Software as a Service is shared by all users, while their individual data is stored separately. For example, all users of Denticon, our practice management application, have access to the same functionality, but all their data is stored separately and securely.

Conceptually, since the application is shared by all users, on-demand software is like renting the application, instead of owning it. So, payment for use of the application is typically in the form of a monthly subscription.

There are several aspects of web-based software worthy of exploring

The Internet

  • Safety and security
  • Reliability
  • Bandwidth

The Application

  • The service provider
  • Features, functions, usability
  • Internal security features

The Hosting Facility

  • Safety
  • Security
  • Reputation

 The advantages of Software as a Service are compelling:

  • No upfront costs
  • No long term commitment
  • Lower cost than total cost of ownership of traditional software
  • Ongoing innovation
  • Anytime, anywhere access to application and data
  • Greater data security
  • Rapidly deployed, infinitely scalable
  • No local network necessary – the internet is your network