SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) Deployment
The term “SaaS deployment model” refers to the installation and delivery of software as a service, as opposed to the traditional on premise model of software deployment. SaaS deployment is similar to the establishment phase of a utility service; which is followed by metering and billing at regular intervals, for the services that have been delivered. SaaS deployment is typically initiated by a SaaS provider via a user provisioning process, which is often automated. Alternately, SaaS deployment can be initiated by a third party managed (hosted) services provider. SaaS deployment is considered complete once a user has the necessary means to access a SaaS offering, regardless of whether or not the consumer begins using the service at the time it is provisioned.
SaaS Deployment Model Benefits & Features
The chief benefit of the SaaS deployment model over the traditional model of software deployment is a reduced cost of delivery for both SaaS providers and SaaS subscribers. Since SaaS providers can centrally deploy, update and fix their offerings in the cloud, it reduces the cost of maintaining the software for the SaaS provider. Likewise, SaaS subscribers never have to worry about outdated versions of software or the licensing costs for upgrading to the latest version of a software product for multiple users.
There are additional cost saving benefits that can be realized by Saas subscribers as well, including a reduction in capital expenses for the IT Infrastructure that is often required to support enterprise level on premise software delivery. Furthermore, SaaS subscribers can also avoid the expense of an IT department in many cases, when SaaS solutions are exclusively used to deliver IT services to an enterprise. SaaS deployment also provides higher levels availability over the on premise model of software deployment, since users can access a SaaS offering over the web from anywhere on the globe (provided that Internet access is available).
The ability to easily switch from one SaaS provider to another is another benefit of SaaS deployment. SaaS deployment creates a higher standard for service delivery to consumers as compared to the on premise model of service delivery, as competing SaaS vendors must continually strive for innovation and service delivery excellence or else risk the easy loss of their customers to the competition. Attrition is far less likely under the on premise model of software deployment, since organizations with on premise software have usually made a substantial investment in a vendor’s software product which creates “lock-in” for a continued relationship with a software vendor regardless of the quality of service or support that is being delivered on an ongoing basis. Likewise, the ability to avoid vendor “lock-in” makes SaaS delivery an attractive future option for many organizations, when it is time to acquire, upgrade or replace enterprise software.