What is Software As A Service?If you’re thinking about switching your business to the cloud, it’s good to know a few pieces of cloud-cabulary so you don’t get lost in the shuffle.

Like all IT and most major companies, where there’s a product, there’s an acronym. And cloud has quite a few. This post gives a quick and dirty overview of the what, why, and who of software as a service.

What is Software as a Service?

Before I start, let me say one thing: there’s no such thing as an actual cloud your documents float in and when you need them you make it rain (that’d be pretty cool though, a bunch of corporate executives doing the rain dance to get last quarters financial report?)

So what is it? Webopedia defines it as the model where applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network. This network is typically the internet,

Who is using Software as a Service?

So far, SaaS has mostly been deployed by small to midsized businesses, but this doesn’t eliminate large businesses from utilizing the service.

Why, or why not, Software as a Service?

A good reason for SaaS, especially for small businesses, is because you can implement enterprise-class functionalities and applications all for a pay as you go price. These applications, although not really customizable, address your basic business problems and processes all without the cost of a data center.

Now by customizable I mean to fit your specific business needs. SaaS gives users the opportunity to “drag and drop” and other front end functionality to fit the UI to their liking.

There are benefits to buying it “out of the box”. Advantages like faster implementation, easier access to the newest technology, fewer bugs (SaaS is comprised of one code base so it’s less complex which leads to less system errors).

However, sometimes it’s a benefit to have a complex system. SaaS isn’t built to support your entire business, it’s really only built to serve one function. Some great examples are CRM tools and collaboration applications.

If you’re looking for more in-depth information, CIO.com published an excellent 8 page “article”, The Truth About Software as a Service. It is jam packed with everything you would need to know about SaaS