Impact of Increasing Adoption of SaaS Solutions

By: Hannelore Fineman, Executive Vice President & Partner, eMaint

A Quick Primer on SaaS

SaaS is a software distribution model where a vendor hosts an application and makes it available to customers over a network such as the Internet for a monthly fee. Think of SaaS and traditional software models (where you buy the software and host it on your own equipment) much as you might think of renting a home versus buying one. With SaaS, you pay as you go and let the vendor worry about maintenance and upkeep. With a traditional software investment, you pay for the product upfront and must invest in the people and equipment needed to maintain it.

According to an infographic detailing the history of SaaS by ProfitBricks, SaaS dates all the way back to the 1960s when IBM and other service providers operated a service bureau business called “time sharing” or “utility computing.” The arrival of broadband in the late 1990s and early 2000s ushered in a new era where SaaS could flourish – and it has. Key growth drivers include: broadband Internet access, mobile devices, APIs, business line buyers instead of just IT buyers, and improvements in security

Perhaps one of the best known early SaaS applications is SalesForce which was founded in 1999. Other companies soon followed, and today just about every category of software can be offered as a service. Some of the most common categories currently offered as a service include:

  • Collaboration software
  • CRM software
  • Business intelligence and analytics
  • Governance, risk, and compliance
  • ECommerce
  • Human resources software
  • Procurement software
  • Finance and accounting
  • ERP, manufacturing, and supply chain management
  • CMMS and EAM software
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