There are dozens of possible ways to develop software. A wide variety of existing programming languages with their own strong and weak sides, frameworks, libraries, and other development tools allow creating applications of different types: for desktops, for mobile devices, web applications that work via browser, etc. Different software development methodologies and frameworks like Scrum or Kanban will help you adapt the development process for various types of projects, reduce costs, eliminate risks, and use the available resources more efficient. But besides the development itself, there’s another important issue that requires close attention. We’re talking about the way of licensing and delivering the software.
When there’s a need to choose what framework, technology, or a programming language should be used during the development process, in most cases, the development company makes the final decision and the customer relies on the developer’s experience and skills. But the chosen software delivery model affects both the customer and the developer because different models have different pros and cons and require different development strategy.
In this article, we’ll talk about one of the existing software licensing and delivery models named Software as a Service, or SaaS, to be short, and the key benefits it offers.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is a centrally hosted software that is provided to a customer in the form of a service on a subscription basis. The applications of such kind run on the servers of SaaS providers and users can access them via browsers. Instead of buying an application, a user pays a “rent” that allows him to use it for a certain amount of time. Thus, users can decrease the use cost, which is one of the primary benefits of using SaaS. There’s no need for a user to think about the technical issues since the SaaS provider takes care of it.
Let’s continue with the main SaaS advantages and benefits for a customer.
Main Advantages and Benefits for Customer
When we talk about an application without singling out specific features, we usually mean in-house software, software that was created for using within the organization. In this case, the customer is responsible for the support of hardware, databases, storage, security issues, and other important aspects of successfully running application. As you can imagine, this approach entails high costs due to the necessity for a team of IT specialists and regular expertise.
For a small business or state-owned enterprises, this may become a headache. One of the possible solutions is SaaS. In this case, the vendor undertakes the reliable work of an application, database management, hardware, etc. A client can purchase as many services as he needs here and now. He gets access to the minimal amount of required configuration abilities, such as permission rights, for example. There’s always room for further improvements of SaaS applications according to the client’s needs and requirements.
Summing up all that has been said, we can create a list of primary SaaS advantages:
- The initial cost is lower
- Short implementation time
- Rapidly scaling
- Limited need for staff
- Release management, database management, and other technical issues are handled by vendor
- Minimal staff training is required
Now, after we have figured out what are the main features of this model from the customer’s point of view, we can continue with the main benefits of SaaS application development.
SaaS vs In-house Application Development: What To Choose?
There’s always a possibility to create required applications using your company’s IT department resources. It’s an old-school and classical approach. And like any other approach, this one has its strong sides. Let’s compare in-house application development with SaaS.
In-House Application Development Benefits
If there’s an experienced team of developers, in your IT department, you can afford developing apps for internal needs instead of renting the software. An obvious advantage is a possibility to create, customize, and update the software according to your unique requirements. Nobody knows your day-by-day routine better than you so that you can implement highly specialized tasks specific to your particular case. You can fully control the quality of your applications and, what’s more important, you can fix problems faster by developing patches and updates.
It’s better to prefer the in-house development in case you work with a large amount of data and prefer to keep it away from the third-party developers. Using SaaS, you often have to agree with the fact that the application is shared with other customers which may not look very well, especially in a case of business that work with private information.
In some cases of using SaaS, license agreements can not adequately meet the unique business requirements. There’s one service that is used by many businesses. In-house development allows avoiding this disadvantage.
SaaS Application Development Benefits
Flexible pricing. This may be a crucial feature in making decisions, especially for a small business. Moreover, one should not forget, that a wise provider can negotiate pricing due to getting a perspective client.
There’s no need to hire a team of IT specialists. If you have limited resources and can’t afford application development and maintaining, you should keep in mind SaaS as one of the possible options. SaaS application development company knows its own creation better and already have a team of professionals, so it makes sense that it’ll be a better decision to rely on them.
Everything that you need to start enjoying a SaaS solution is a PC with the access to the Internet. Such apps can be implemented and deployed with ease so a business can focus on itself.
Real Life Example
To see how SaaS-based application development helps solve problems, let’s take a look at Workflow Application For Businesses, a web-based SaaS application developed by XB Software that allows processing business workflows, provides a customer with performance overviews and real-time forecasts of profits and costs.
The main task was to help the business that handles big amounts of data: provided goods and services, partners, suppliers and customers. The larger the business, the larger the amount of data sets that should be collected and analyzed. And, at some point, standard applications functionality is not enough for such companies.
To solve the emerged issues, our developers created an enterprise web application that processes and distributes information about a business event right after it occurs. Application provides all workflow participants with the results of its work via the central hub. The additional feature is the possibility of analyzing complex sales, customer and manufacturing information. The instant overview allows users to get an access to important data, such as stock availability, client profiles, order history tracking, etc.
Nowadays, we witness the era of cloud services. There’s nothing more natural for a modern user than a cloud storage with file synchronization feature or an online office suite. Widespread broadband internet connection and the intention to mobility are natural causes of high popularity of such solutions. Thus, there is nothing surprising in the fact that different kinds of business along with web application developers follow this trend creating the intention of using SaaS applications. This model is primarily suitable for small companies that have no resources for the in-home application development. For example, for healthcare organizations. Flexible pricing policy, rapidly scaling solutions, shorter implementation time, high mobility level, and other core features of SaaS apps leave no room for doubts about the further perspectives.