A Brief Explanation of SaaS and 6 Biggest examples of SaaS products
It's impossible to avoid SaaS nowadays. We do this routinely as part of our regular schedule. If you logged into Gmail today or paid a monthly fee to Netflix, you are using the software as a service.
As the name implies, SaaS (Software-As-A-Service) provides users with software applications as a service. Instead of downloading the software application to your device as an offline application, you access it via the internet using your browser. In other words, you can't use a SaaS application unless you have internet access.
Using Netflix as an example, you may have the Netflix app on your device quite alright, but you need to put on your internet connection to access it. These SaaS applications are hosted on the cloud, and users access them through the internet.
Usually, to access a SaaS application, you must sign up with a username and password.
What is the Cloud?
With the help of data servers in the cloud, which function like memory and can hold vast amounts of information, individuals and businesses can perform a wide variety of tasks regularly.
There are three types of Cloud computing services.
1. Software-As-A-Service (SaaS)
2. Infrastructure-As-A-Service (IaaS): This cloud computing provides users with specific IT infrastructures and allows them to manage their business resources and data storage.
Examples of IaaS are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google's computer engine.
3. Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS): This is the 3rd type of cloud computing where a company provides hardware and software services to users over the internet.
Examples of PaaS are Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Advantages of SaaS
- It saves time and effort:
Instead of getting an app, installing it on your device, and managing it, you only have to sign up once and have access to it anytime with your username and password. This saves you the stress of managing an app.
- It is easy to use:
It does not necessitate a great deal of technical knowledge. It also relieves you of the stress associated with app management and operation. Because most SaaS applications are simple to use, any issues with the app would be handled by the app provider rather than you.
2. It helps in financial planning and saves costs:
SAAS services have subscription plans, both monthly and annual plans. The monthly plan makes financial planning easy as it breaks down costs into smaller, more affordable pieces. In such a month where you will not need the service of a SaaS, you may choose not to subscribe to it.
On the other hand, the annual plan is a bulk plan and is cost-effective if you use the app all year round.
3. It can be accessed anywhere and anytime:
When you save certain data on a SaaS, you can always go back and access it anytime as long as you have your internet connection. The data has been stored in the cloud.
Disadvantages of SAAS
- The danger of insecurity:
Information stored on SaaS is encrypted, but it is not immune to hacking. Therefore companies are always careful of what type of information they serve to the platform. Strict measures must be taken when storing sensitive and critical data on a SaaS platform. 58% of technology companies say SaaS products do not meet their security requirements.
2. Less Control:
When using a SaaS, the cloud is hosting you; therefore, some things are not within your control. Any problem may occur from the provider's side, and the user may not have any control over the outcome.
3. Waste of money:
Subscriptions of SaaS services can be a blessing and save costs, but they can also be a disadvantage. If you need a SaaS product only once a month, you still have to subscribe to it even when you are not using it every time.
Also, it will be advisable not to make subscription plans for SaaS products. You do not need to cut costs, especially for products with overlapping functions.
As aforementioned, an internet connection is a must to access SaaS products. Although a few SaaS products have offline versions, you need an internet connection to access most of these products. In places and situations of poor internet connection, access becomes impossible.
Examples of SaaS Products
SaaS products are all around us. We use them every day. When I first heard of SaaS, I thought it was rocket science. I felt it was hard to comprehend, but I used it already, even without knowing.
Here, I have compiled a list of 6 SaaS tools and what they are for.
The well-known media company provides its services to customers as a software as a service (SaaS) option. Subscribers have unlimited access to a library of movies without ever leaving their homes.
Now, more than 214 million people from all over the world are paying members of Netflix.
Netflix subscription plans range from 9.99 to 19.99 USD per month
Google Workspace has a list of apps that are SaaS products. SaaS products hosted on the Google cloud include Google Docs, Gmail, Google Meet, Google Drive, and Google Slides. Almost every mobile phone user uses these apps on a daily basis.
Google, as one of the big five tech companies, is a company that provides solutions to people's tech problems, and one way to do so is through SaaS apps.
Canva is an online graphic design application that makes it simple to create professional-looking visual content by providing a library of premade templates for various uses. Canva offers a wide variety of free, customizable templates for various projects, including brochures, logos, business cards, and Instagram stories. Plus, it's a breeze to operate the tool.
Canva has paid subscription plans if you want to create more beautiful designs, but even with the accessible elements in the app, you can still create beautiful designs.
Canva pro plan: $9.95$/month.
In addition, Microsoft, one of America's top five information technology companies, offers technology services via SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Microsoft provides SaaS services via Microsoft 365.
Microsoft 365 includes SaaS products such as Word (which I am typing this with, so you can see that this article is made possible by a SaaS product), Powerpoint, Excel, and a slew of others.
Email marketing is quickly becoming a hot cake in today's content marketing landscape, and many businesses are beginning to realize this. Mailchimp is a SaaS tool that simplifies email marketing for businesses.
Mailchimp provides you with various email templates, effective customer relationship management, email branding, and much more.
The subscription plan to Mailchimp is $199.
Developing an app today is not a must to have coding skills. Wix made that possible. It is a cloud-based digital product that allows users to create websites using drag-and-drop tools.
Wix also offers different templates for web design, making things easier for users.
Wix has different subscription plans for its users. The most popular plan is the unlimited plan for entrepreneurs and freelancers, which is 12.50 USD per month.
Frequently Asked Questions About Saas
Are all mobile apps SaaS?
Not all mobile apps are SaaS. However, most SaaS product has a mobile app version which you have to access with an internet connection.
What is the difference between a SaaS and a regular mobile app?
Whereas users of typical mobile apps are responsible for updating and maintaining their software, the provider of software as a service (SaaS) takes on this responsibility.
Can a SaaS provider fold up?
In a word, yes. Even if a SaaS company goes under, your information will remain secure. If you ever feel unsafe about where your data is stored, you can always export it from the platform. If the SaaS provider experiences technical difficulties, the user’s data will still be accessible through the host.
The next step for SaaS
Advances in cloud computing and SaaS have occurred rapidly. SaaS products, like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), have multiplied in popularity due to their widespread availability and ease of use.
This has spawned the development of SaaS Integration Platforms (SIPs) (PaaS). Organizations will keep sending their non-essential IT tasks to third-party service providers because those firms are better equipped to handle them.
By outsourcing their IT needs, including hardware and software, to third-party service providers, businesses can focus on their core competencies and benefit from the cloud's streamlined approach to solution development.
Adoption of "aaS" services by businesses will increase the likelihood of lasting partnerships between those businesses and their service providers, which will spur innovation as providers better meet the evolving demands of their clientele.
The future of high-performance computing lies in its ability to aid in various business uses, such as analyzing large amounts of customer data and monitoring application logs.
Predicting which customers will churn or which cross-selling practices work best for your business are two examples of the crucial problems that SaaS may one day be able to help solve.
It's not hard to see why so many companies are turning to cloud-based providers, what with the ever-increasing demand for high-volume data, software performance, and backup. Investigate what Salesforce, a popular SaaS provider, can do for companies of any size.
Access to cutting-edge software solutions for your company's employees has never been easier, safer, or more cost-effective than SaaS. Google Workspace is the first all-in-one service worth looking into if you need access to a suite of office tools, cloud storage space, and business email accounts with addresses in the company domain.
The productivity suite can be accessed for less money if purchased through a Google Cloud partner like FOTC. Additionally, you'll have access to technical assistance at any hour, every day of the week, and you'll have 30 days to try the service at no risk.