SaaS – The future of application in the cloud

SaaS? Software-as-a-Service is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network typically the Internet.

How is it different from other cloud models?

IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service is a model where service providers offer pools of abstract IT infrastructure resources (servers, storage, and network components) to customers on a pay-per-usage model. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, cooling, operation, and maintenance. The client typically pays on a per-use basic

PaaS: Platform as a Service is a model where service providers provision fully-functioning computing and solution stacks on which applications are deployed. The provider provides the networks, servers, storage for the environment, as well as manages varying levels of scalability and maintenance. The client typically pays for services used.

The history of SaaS

Utility Computing
Centralized hosting of business applications dates back to the 1960s. IBM and other service providers operated a service bureau business called time-sharing or utility computing.

Application service providers
Expansion of the Internet in the 1990s brought about a new class of centralized computing called Application Service Providers (ASP)

Reduced costs
Application service providers offered businesses the service of hosting and managing specialized business applications, to reduce costs through central administration and the solution provider’s specialize in a particular business application.

Software-As-A-Service
Software-as-a-Service essentially extends the idea of the ASP model. The term Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), however, is more commonly used in specific settings.

Utilize a multi-tenant architecture
The software architecture used by most initial application service providers mandated maintaining a unique and separate instance of the application for each business. As of 2012 software-as-a-service solutions normally utilize a multi-tenant architecture in which the application serves multiple businesses and users, and partitions its data accordingly.

Require only an Internet browser to use
Initial application service providers typically offered more traditional diet-server applications requiring the installation of software on users’ personal computers. Contemporary Software-as-a-Service relies predominantly on the web and only requires an Internet browser to use.

Develop and manage their software
Most early application service providers focused on managing and hosting third-party independent software vendors’ software. As of 2012, Software-as-a-Service vendors typically develop and manage their software.

SaaS acronym first appears
The SAAS acronym allegedly first appeared in an article called “Strategic Backgrounder: Software As A Service”, internally published in February 2011 by the Software & Information Industry’s (SIIA) eBusiness Division.

Salesforce – The first SaaS built from scratch to achieve rapid growth.
1999 – Founded in March 1999 by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a company offering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Products and Service of Salesforce:

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • The Sales Cloud
  • The Service Cloud
  • Force.com Platform
  • Chatter
  • APP Exchange
  • Configuration
  • Web Services

The key drivers of SaaS growth:

  • Broadband
  • Mobile
  • Internet Security Improvements
  • Business Line Buyers Vs. IT Buyers
  • Stack Improvements HTML, Javascript, CSS, Rails, PHP
  • Browser Improvements
  • API’s

SaaS Applications by type:

  • Collaboration / Communication / Social
  • Software Development / Test
  • CRM / Salesforce Automation
  • Business Intelligence / Advance
  • Customer Service / Support
  • Analytics
  • Human Resources / Talent Management
  • Budgeting / Reporting / Planning
  • Ecommerce / Collaborative Commerce
  • Governance, Risk, and Compliance
  • Procurement / Sourcing / Spend
  • ERP / Manufacturing / Supply Chain
  • Management
  • Finance / Accounting

Future of Cloud Computing
Analysts are seeing software as a service (SaaS) as the primary type of cloud investment with 82 percent citing usage today and 84 percent looking to SaaS as the deployment model for new applications.

Media + Entertainment
Cloud Computing has enabled media and entertainment to be a fundamentally engrained, pervasive part of our daily experience, shaping new generations of users who expect rich on-demand content delivered to a large variety of personal devices.

Social / Collaboration
The Social and Collaboration cloud formation is enabling applications that enrich supply and demand chain relationships, improve customer intimacy and loyalty, empowering collaborative, crowdsourced product design and development, drawing us closer to the markets we serve.

Mobile / Location
Today, smartphones are not only always on, but often personally upon us. Mobile devices are becoming the primary on-ramp to the cloud as people to connect to everything from their email to their business process. And as personal GPS devices, they provide continuous location data. This mobile and location cloud formation means that wherever we are, the need we have at that moment can be targeted to our location and situation.

E-commerce / Payments
The payments cloud is forming more slowly as the politics of control between merchants, banks and consumers are not easy to resolve. The Cloud, however, is a key enabler as everything can be connected, validated, and certified via the cloud.

Big Data / Analytics
Everything we’ve discussed generated and relies upon massive volumes of so-called “Big Data” like profile and behavioral data, which needs to be stored, managed, and analyzed on demand.

Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.