What is SaaS? Software-as-a-service defined

12.3.2021
Angelica A.
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Have you heard SaaS being thrown around so often you simply need to Google what it stands for once and for all? Well, welcome to our complete explanation of what software as a service means. We won’t delay how we get you to answers, so let’s start with the most basic definition of what SaaS is. 

What is SaaS? Software-as-a-service defined

We’re actually giving you the mere definition of SaaS as we present this title. Standing for “Software as a Service,” SaaS is an acronym for generally online or computer tools that can complete diverse functions for us. 

Now, the beauty of these tools is that they don’t even require downloading or installing in most cases. On top of that, they keep all of our most relevant information on a particular field. And they do so through cloud storage. Yep, it’s a cloud at our service, mostly. So, you can use your favorite browser to log on to sessions that neatly give you all you need. 

Tons of apps that can be labeled as SaaS are currently very well-known. Out of the most famous ones, you can find Slack, Google Apps, Dropbox, MailChimp, even Netflix! 

As you can probably tell from the sample we mention here, SaaS can refer to centralized tools of different kinds. These range from customer relationship management (CRM) to billing, human resources, document work, or even videos on demand via a particular platform. 

We hope this has helped clarify what SaaS is. Now, can you customize these tools to your liking?

Can I customize SaaS software?

Well, think of your Netflix video suggestions and tracking. We get recommendations on content that will most likely suit our preferences there. And that’s also how other financing tools or those dealing with accounting, marketing, and other forms can recommend better or more efficient instruments. Yet, they’re also capable of adapting to our personal or corporate needs as we desire. 

In them, we can generally play with the way information is displayed. And this we call customizing the user interface (UI.) 

Great SaaS lets you filter what data you see at a given time, how to set up your dashboard, or specific areas within the apps to see what you’d like and how you’d like to view it. There can also be on and off switches that you can toggle to remove or add visual displays or functions at your will. Compare Recurring in this sense as much as you’d like, too!

From simple color changes to full different displays, the idea is for individual users to entire companies to work with these apps however suits them best. And tailor that to their precise needs. 

Who owns my SaaS data?

Generally speaking, you should be able to call your data your own. Just make sure the agreements to a particular SaaS name you as the sole proprietor of your data. Service level agreements are shortened as SLAs and they generally record these understandings between the company providing the SaaS and the user, whether it be a full company or just 1 person. 

Though stored in a cloud, the data typically belongs to the company hiring the services. Or the user doing so in individual cases. 

You can even ensure your data is still yours if the SaaS business you’ve subscribed to needs to shut down and stop providing you with their offer. In that case, the information on their cloud can still be agreed as yours in its entirety. 

Just make sure you go over the terms and conditions of the SaaS with which you decide to work to know you’re relating under secure pretenses. 

When to use SaaS

We recommend using SaaS to spare upon different expenses. They can be a matter of saving up on hardware, for instance, to host applications. Or a way to have enhanced security protecting our shared data without having to spend on costly software. 

We can also just forget about relevant updates to our whole stack of business tools, which can also be costly. Let SaaS spend on their required maintenance costs, whether that be human or technological. And overall, forget about installs or other patches. Let alone having every new team member download every application required to get their job done!

On the contrary, use SaaS to enhance access points to relevant shared data. Any user who’s part of our stakeholders can log in and complete whatever tasks are needed from virtually anywhere with SaaS tools. And that includes newcomers. 

And, if teams scale considerably over short or prolonged periods, we might just need to adjust our membership fees. But forget about running out to buy expensive new hardware or licenses to complete installs and whatnot. 

Finally, we’d like to leave you with one last concept, and that’s the difference between SaaS and other -aaS acronyms. Here it goes:

What’s the difference between SaaS vs. IaaS vs. PaaS?

Differences are sometimes better understood when we have a full grasp of underlying commonalities. For that, we’ll first clarify how SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS are similar to each other. 

And that’s basically under the major category into which they fall. You see, these are all cloud-based business models, really. So, they have that cloud functionality in common and deliver services online to users. 

It might now help to understand what all these acronyms are, though, right? SaaS we know now. IaaS stands for infrastructure as a service, and PaaS for a platform as a service. So, software, infrastructure, or platform should give a clear hint as to the difference between each. And we’ll delightedly expand on those at this time, too. 

Think of differences as related to how complete or thorough their service is. SaaS allows full management of certain functions. They’re apps that give us full control over specific duties. With IaaS, we’re dealing with data that are typically tied to data center outsourcing. With PaaS, we’re merely relying on a particular platform for development. And those are still typically hosted by a data center. 

To clarify further, we’d be hiring servers or storage through IaaS. It’s hardware and tools for virtualizing experiences that we’d be looking for here. 

With PaaS, we’re talking more about platforms where our own developers can work their magic. That’s to say, we’re hiring a platform where we can create products, including other apps. 

Now, on to our recurring tasks.

And there you have it! We hope this information has been of great use to you. Just let us know if you’d ever like us to expand on any other topic or go over specific queries you might have. 
In the meantime, we leave you with Recurring as the best SaaS tool management platform out there. We hope you can make the best of it!

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