Software as a Service (SaaS), also known as software on demand, is a kind of software that allows users to access various programs from the Internet without having to install the software. SaaS is often times accessed from within the networks of businesses and other organizations, and is therefore protected by a firewall, which restricts the access of those outside of the network or those within the network who may not have permission to access certain kinds of information. An SaaS provider is a company that specializes in selling or administering this software to clients. In order to choose the best SaaS provider, it can be helpful to first consider your industry needs, since different providers may have different specializations. Factors such as the price of access and the quality of the software should also be taken into consideration.
An SaaS provider may provide software for any number of industries, such as accounting, human resources, or customer service. In some cases, providers offer software options for a number of different fields. Others specialize only in certain industries. Some professionals considering SaaS may choose to work with a provider that specializes in their particular industry since this kind of provider may have a better reputation, which professionals often associate with a higher level of quality.
It is common for an Saas provider to charge a fee for access to the software. In some cases, this might be a one-time subscription fee. Other times, the provider might charge a client each time the software is accessed. A method that is becoming more popular among service providers is the option for free access, though many who use these services believe that this free access can include the software's heavy reliance on advertisements and even the selling of client information, such as email addresses, postal addresses, and phone numbers. In order to choose the best SaaS provider, it can be helpful to consider the amount you have budgeted for software, as well as concerns related to interruptions caused by advertising and confidentiality of user information.
The quality of an SaaS provider can depend on factors such as the effectiveness of the software and the ease of use. A common concern among many individuals who use SaaS is the level of security provided. Organizations and individuals who may store sensitive information in their networks are often concerned about security breaches that may occur through the access of online software that is run within a network. Automatic security updates, virus scans, and complex log in requirements may help to improve the effectiveness of SaaS security.