Software as a Service (SaaS)

A client will typically access software on the internet via a web browser, hence clients will need a internet connection in order to use the software. Clients will typically have to pay by a subscription either monthly or annually. Costs of the Application Service Provider (ASP) will typically be higher than others in the industry as they must build and maintain the infrastructure needed to host the software.
With a hosting system it may become quite complicated to update the software. You may have to shutdown client access to the software while an update is taking place, alternatively if you have different servers you may direct traffic to one while you update the other. With this being said SaaS is generally update far more regularly than software on a client's hardware, this because:
  • The application is hosted centrally, so it is the providers decision whether or not to update.
  • The application only has a single configuration, making development testing faster.
  • The application vendor has access to all customer data.
  • The solution provider has access to user behavior within the application, making it easier to identify areas that need to be improved.
As the software is hosted on the internet it allows users to work together in real time.

The biggest criticism of SaaS is privacy:
Since you must send all your data to the ASP it allows them to access all your data, furthermore it makes the clients data more vulnerable to attack as hackers may hijack your connection.