Software as a Service (SaaS) is the term used to describe software provided to users over a network e.g. the internet, in a pay as you go model. Not to be confused with those which are those involved in the slightly broader concept of web based technology-enabled services shared across the internet. Simply put, SAAS applications run ‘within the cloud’.
Continually growing in popularity the "SAAS model" is putting the old school form of the traditional software licence model into the shade for a number of reasons:
Lower start-up costs
Traditionally those looking to implement licensed based software were required to make a large up front payment to buy their software outright, which was a huge burden on cash flow particularly for those small to medium size businesses. With SaaS applications smaller recurring payments are made on an on demand subscription basis which makes them much more affordable for all.
Hassle free recruitment
SaaS providers are the ones in charge of all your ongoing maintenance & version upgrades which is a huge shift from the traditional model which would require users to have an internal IT resource to deploy and provide any ongoing support for the software. With providers constantly working on improving their recruitment software to keep up with the market it’s essential that users receive system upgrades however this is much more practical through the SAAS model. Availability is also down to the provider therefore customers aren’t required to add any further software or bandwidth as the volume of data increases.
Life in the cloud
With web based recruitment software this allows employees to have immediate remote access from any web browser 24 hours a day wherever they are across the globe. No software is required to be downloaded onto machines which as well as slowing them down would increase startup time. Less training time is also required as today’s users are now much more familiar with web based applications.
Higher level of service
Whilst provided in the Software as a Service model users are effectively renting software from vendors. With vendors therefore aiming to retain clients for the longest possible term there is much more of an emphasis placed on the quality of service received than there would be if there was a large upfront purchase. Crucially with outside vendors involved this takes away the responsibility of the particularly delicate area of data security.
Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!