Once upon a time, buying new software for your PC or business meant a trip out to purchase the disc, endless installations on multiple machines and purchasing an individual license for each. The result? An out-of-sync tangled mess that could only be updated if you were willing to go out and do it all again.
Rejoice, though! Long gone are the days of disconnected devices, local storage woes and inaccessible files. The cloud is here to stay and software has now joined our data and documents in it. In recent years, software as a service (SaaS) has shown its true worth as an indispensable IT solution for businesses and consumers. Let’s tell you all about it.
SaaS sounds complicated. What is it?
Put simply, software as a service (SaaS) provides desktop quality applications without the need for physical discs or digital downloads. Instead, consumers and businesses have access to the software via the web, often renting the service through a subscription rather than paying an expensive upfront cost.
Is this a new idea?
Surprisingly, the concept of SaaS actually dates back to the 1960s – a time when computing was still in its infancy. John McCarthy, renowned computer scientist and retro geek, prophesied that ‘computation may some-day be organised as a public utility’.
However, the idea didn’t become a reality until the dawn of the internet at the end of the century. Business solutions companies, like Salesforce, pioneered SaaS, but their efforts were met with anxiety from customers. SaaS had some growing up to do and it would be another decade before it really took off.
What happened then?
SaaS has hit the mainstream running in the past five years. Google Docs, Dropbox, Spotify and Microsoft Office 365 are just a few well-known consumer examples. Even the intensive apps of the creative industry have found a place in the cloud, with Adobe offering a slim-line version of Photoshop to professionals.
As software development becomes more accessible and affordable, many businesses are partnering with IT companies (like ours!) that can develop bespoke SaaS solutions for their staff and customers.
Why has SaaS become so popular?
There are many reasons why SaaS applications are being chosen over their conventional counterparts. SaaS applications can be hosted entirely by their provider, meaning users save on additional hardware costs and setup fees. Good news! This also means applications are updated by the provider, a big bonus in a world where updating apps, phones, tablets and PCs feel like a full-time job.
Finally, with cloud storage we’ve got used to starting something on one device and picking it up on another elsewhere. SaaS brings seamless remote access to our applications, making installations a thing of the past. Goodbye, 0%...10%...11%...!
SaaS has already started to change the way we see software, boasting added convenience, continuous support and hassle-free updates all rolled into one. At The Code Guy, we believe every cloud should have a supple SaaS lining; we’re ready to help your business enter this exciting market, with our fantastic web-based solutions.