January 14, 2016
Software as a Service, or SaaS, is a common buzzword in both private and not-for-profit sectors alike. It is changing the technology landscape as we know it. Not too long ago, associations had no other option but to rely on IT infrastructures that were outrageously expensive, incredibly difficult to configure and implement, and a nightmare to maintain. Since then, SaaS has given associations another, more affordable option.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software delivery model that provides access to software and its functions remotely as a web-based service, eliminating installation and maintenance requirements of traditional methods.
Sounds simple enough, right? But many confuse SaaS and hosting - which is easy to do. They have a lot in common:
Associations that are accustomed to hosted applications probably recognize those similarities and may even assume the two solutions are equivalent because of them. So, how are SaaS solutions different than hosted ones?
SaaS customers all share the same codebase which streamlines administration, updates, fixes, and releases. With hosted platforms, maintenance is a longer process because they have to fix, test, and deploy on multiple infrastructures.
SaaS customers benefit from faster and easier innovation. New features and product enhancements are released on one infrastructure, impacting all customers. Innovation comes at a cost with hosted solutions. Much of their time is spent on maintenance and they therefore are unable to innovate as often. When they do, they will ask you to fork up more money to migrate your data to the new infrastructure.
SaaS solutions provide more stability because there is a workflow in place that ensures your system continues to function normally without threatening your daily business processes. If a server crashes, your workload is automatically distributed to another server in the pool. If your hosted server crashes, you are stuck waiting for your vendor to repair it - hoping that it’s a quick process.
In our white paper, SaaS Myths Debunked, we delve deeper into the differences between SaaS and hosted solutions. If you want to learn more about the value of SaaS or need a resource when explaining the benefits to others, you can download it here.