What is a Software as a Service (SaaS)?

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Let’s understand SaaS.

SaaS is an abbreviation for Software as a Service, which is a type of cloud computing service.

A SaaS refers to a software service delivery model. With a SaaS model, customers can access software applications through the Internet without having to install or maintain the software on their computers or servers. SaaS providers are responsible for technicalities, such as server configuration, security, and upgrades, leaving customers to pay for the software license while using the service. That is, a SaaS is a kind of cloud computing with advantages, such as cost efficiency, easy access, scalability, reduced responsibility for maintenance and upgrades, and cutting-edge technologies.

Digital transformation, episode 10: The cloud, the core technology of DT (2) Insight report describes how SaaS works, using the analogy of borrowing resources.
"Software as a Service (SaaS) is when you borrow everything from cloud service providers. Let me give you an analogy to help you understand. The team leader ordered the employees to plan a performance. The performance must start right away, next week. What would you do? You can notify the agency of the concept of the performance and leave everything to them. That is ‘SaaS.’"

[Gartner's definition] Software as a Service (SaaS) is software that is owned, delivered, and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at anytime on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.
[Definition by Forrester] A standardized software capability delivered via Internet-standard technologies in a pay-per-use, self-service way.

What are the advantages of SaaS?


A SaaS allows users to access cloud-based applications over the Internet. Its convenience makes it more essential in today's diverse workplace.

Cost efficiency

A SaaS usually requires fewer upfront costs and is flexibly priced based on the number of users or capabilities, which helps organizations reduce operating costs through a pay-per-use system. In addition, it does not require any additional costs for software maintenance or upgrades, making it more efficient.

Easy installation and maintenance

SaaS solutions mostly use web-based interfaces, so it is easy to install or maintain software. In addition, SaaS providers manage some or all of the services, giving users room to focus more on their core work rather than wasting time dealing with technical issues. Product upgrades and additional feature updates are regularly provided with no additional costs, and the configuration is available based on customer demand.

Flexible scalability

Users can purchase additional features, increase the number of users, increase server capacities, or expand regionally if needed.

Lower security risk

SaaS providers handle security issues, such as data security, backup, and recovery, alleviating security concerns for customers. Moreover, SaaS software generally has a built-in backup capability, which reduces risks of data loss or damage.

What should we consider when introducing SaaS?

Network issues

Using cloud-based SaaS software applications always requires an Internet connection. This means SaaS services are dependent on an Internet connection, and your work may be interrupted due to connection issues. Also, cloud-based software tends to be slower than the one run on a local computer. Because it is affected by the speed of the Internet connection and lag time. It can have impacts on user experiences.

Data security

SaaS providers hosting data may cause security issues. In addition, all of the data are stored in cloud servers, which can be a source of personal data leaks.

Vendor dependency

SaaS solutions are usually tailored to general requirements, so there are limits to customization according to the requirements of certain companies. It can be platform- or browser-dependent if it only runs on a certain platform or browser. It costs less than developing software as per the company requirements, but may come with restrictions for some users.

Samsung SDS delivers SaaS consulting services that realize business design and SaaS application development based on competitive cloud infrastructure, such as Samsung Cloud Platform (SCP) and AWS.

Find out more about the Samsung SDS SaaS
  • SaaS Consulting

    SaaS consulting service realizes business design and SaaS application development based on competitive cloud infrastructure such as Samsung Cloud Platform (SCP), AWS.